WAYNESBORO, MS (WDAM) - The Great Chickasawhay River Race is just around the corner and people from different states are expected to participate.
"From as far away as Houston, we've got folks coming from Pensacola, folks coming from the Birmingham area, from New Orleans," said Chairman of Friends of the Chickasawhay Paddle America Club, Drew Walker. "We want to make sure that the Chickasawhay River is a great and a safe river for them to travel on."
Before the canoeing and kayaking race Saturday, river conditions must be checked. Game wardens went into the river Thursday to make sure everything looks good for the event.
"What we're checking for is to see if there are any obstructions," said former conservation officer Jody Ashley.
The pet-friendly event will begin in Shubuta and will end in Waynesboro. The race is approximately 21 miles long.
"It's low right now so it's probably close to eight hours that it could be, you know, it could be a little longer, it just depends what time they get started and how quick they get in," said Ashley. "We'll be monitoring back and forth and they'll be some checkpoints along the way and some sandbars that'll have some stuff for them so we'll be able to monitor and keep up."
Race participants and anyone else who visits the river are recommended to always bring a few items along with them.
"Bring water, have a cell phone and just be prepared for the unexpected sometimes," said Ashley. "We want everybody to come and have a good time and be safe and enjoy the Chickasawhay River."
Everyone is also encouraged to wear a life jacket. Once the river was checked, game wardens said it looked ready for this weekend's race.
"This is a big event for Mississippi, a big event for Waynesboro, big event for the Chickasawhay River," said Walker.
The race theme is "Red, White and Canoe", competitors are encouraged to dress patriotically. A portion of the proceeds raised will benefit conservation efforts on the Chickasawhay River.
"I'd love to thank the Pat Harrison Waterway District, law enforcement here in Waynesboro including the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, Wayne County supervisors, the City of Waynesboro, as well as Mississippi Fisheries & Wildlife for all the help," said Walker. "Also businesses and organizations here in Waynesboro, they've been so much help."
For more information on the race, click HERE.