Summer Raft Races Officially Return!

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Chunky, Mississippi A popular tradition is back, just under a different name.

The Chunky River raft races are no more, but after 18 years, the Chunky shoals raft races have begun a new era. The owners of the Chunky Shoals Fish Camp are now the sponsors for the event. They wanted to give it a more family-friendly atmosphere. Of course, they weren't doing away with the races.

"We were really just looking for something to do on a pretty Saturday, and this sounded like a good time," first place winner Josh Turner said. "We just had a really good design and had a really good time putting it together and came out from vicksburg and cleaned up."

All of the contestants were able compete in the race without a worry thanks to the large emergency management team on hand.

"Because the area that flows is actually in Newton County and Lauderdale County, the director from Newton County and I got together and decided we wanted to try to make this an exercise for us," LEMA director David Sharp said.

The Chunky Shoals sponsors said they've been thrilled with the turnout.

"Oh, this exceeds our expectations," Rick Lewis said. "The people have been great. Everybody just is doing exactly what they need to do. Our volunteers have been wonderful. All the local companies and organizations and all the emergency management and everyone has been great and helped us out. Everything's going on without a hitch."

The tradition is expected to continue next year.