Photo by Georgia Read courtesy Oklahoma City Boathouse Association.

[dropcap]With[/dropcap] the addition of RiverSport Adventures to downtown, Oklahoma City’s metropolitan area has seen an outpouring of new events based around water-related sports. The newest incorporation is the Whitewater Festival, a four-day celebration with intense competition in a variety of categories.

Spectators can cheer on whitewater rafters and kayakers, as well as witness the R4 Rafting National Championships, which features a taxing downriver marathon, sprint race, head-to-head elimination and slalom race. (R4 is a raft with four paddlers.)

The Whitewater Festival showcases athletes competing in the USA Canoe/Kayak Canoe Slalom trials to qualify for the 2017 World Cup. In addition, guests can enjoy downriver and freestyle kayaking competitions and common additions that will appeal to any festival-goer.

“There will be local vendors, music and obviously beer,” says Zach Datko, the rafting operations manager at RiverSport. “[It] wouldn’t be a whitewater event without good beer and watching rafts duel it out on a Olympic whitewater course.”

Datko believes this event is only the start of a growing interest in whitewater events in the city.

“The whitewater world is small but very exciting. I think this will be a big step into introducing whitewater to the city,” he says. “There are many events and festivals that we can host on our amazing Olympic course.”

The event takes place May 18-21. Visit for more details.

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