South Bend's East Race Waterway opens for the season

NOW: South Bend’s East Race Waterway opens for the season

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The City of South Bend is celebrating 40 years of the East Race Waterway. The summer season kicked off Saturday, maintaining an option for summer fun that doesn't break the bank.

Cierra Espinoza went rafting with her friends and said it's a good activity when everything else feels so expensive these days.

"You think about maybe a drink somewhere, or about how expensive dinner can be for just two people, that might be $50-60, and that's not even including the tip, you know? That could be like two meals and an appetizer, and it's like, you're breaking the bank on that," she said. "Whereas here, it's a quick and fun little date night and just a good way to spend quality time with each other."

The white-water course runs just under 2,000 feet, according to South Bend Venues Parks & Arts, with mild rapids. Life guards will be spaced out 200 to 500 feet apart along the route.

The aquatics and ice manager, Kelly Notteboom, says it's a popular summer activity, bringing in anywhere from 80 to 300 people each day, weather permitting, of course.

"The rides are never the same," she said. "You could start off with one ride at the beginning of the day and it's super chill. A little bit later in the afternoon, somehow, we got a little bit more water going through it, it's a little bumpier, you just never know. So I think that unpredictability is what keeps bringing people back year after year or weekend after weekend with us."

Pricing is one ride for $6, two for $10, three for $15, a day pass for $20 and a season pass for $75. 

The program runs every Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, until Sept 1.

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