Despite the drought that has left plants scorched and river levels low, the RiverGames portion of the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival will not be affected, festival Executive Director Jack Hammer said.
Two dams have been raised, keeping the levels of the St. Marys River constant, Hammer said, and according to the National Weather Service, current river levels are about 7 feet, average for the summer months.
The July 21 RiverGames consist of three events:
•The Great River Race (1 to 2 p.m.) amounts to a giant canoe and kayak race, Hammer said, whether for families on a leisurely boat ride or competitors speeding down the St. Marys.
•The Water Balloon Wars (2 to 5 p.m.) feature three-man water balloon slingshots on two 25-foot pontoons anchored in the river.
•The Summit City Soaker (2 to 5 p.m.) is a canoeing sprint race from the Wells Street Bridge to the Harrison Street Bridge. Participants will then throw a water balloon into a hula hoop and sprint back, Hammer said.
The RiverGames are $10 a person per game, and Hammer said he hopes they encourage people to get into a canoe or kayak for the first time.
"I invite people to do that because you're going to see parts of Fort Wayne you've never seen before," he said. "You're going to see some very interesting sites, some different views you don't see every day."
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures throughout the festival are forecast to be in the mid- to high-80s, not the upper 90s and 100-plus temperatures Fort Wayne has experienced the past two weeks, Hammer points out.
The festival is still planning for heat. Headwaters Park will have misters throughout, and there will be live music under the Headwaters pavilion from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, giving shade to those enjoying lunch from Junk Food Alley.
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