The Bullhead Regatta is Dead: Long Live the Parker Tube Float?

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The Bullhead City Council has voted to end the annual ‘River Regatta’, the annual event that had more than 30,000 people floating the Colorado River 70 miles north of Parker, AZ every August.

After this year’s event, social media was filled with photographs showing heaping mounds of trash and debris left in the river and washing up on shores as far away as Lake Havasu City. Outrage was directed at Bullhead City, which runs the event, via media outlets and online, and a petition circulated demanding the end of the event.

At Tuesday’s meeting, many citizens and public officials showed up to speak on both sides of the issue, with favoring speakers mentioning benefits to the local economy and tourism and opposing speakers mentioning the environment and damage to property.

The Chairman of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, Timothy Williams, made a request for the City to stop the Regatta, saying that the river was being desecrated, and was joined in his request by the Chairman of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, Charles Wood.

With an estimated 10,000 people, the Parker Tube Float is the more established – and smaller – of the two events. Although complaints have been received about the trash left in the river after the Parker event, it hasn’t reached the scale of the waste that has mounted up after the Bullhead float. Still, some Parker Strip residents have raised concerns, asking for more resources to be deployed to deal with the trash during and after each annual Tube Float.

What do you think of the end of Bullhead’s Regatta? Will it make Parker’s event even stronger, or will it spell the same kind of end at some future point? Does this prove that tubing events are destined to end up with unmanageable amounts of trash, or are there ways to mitigate for trash in the same way big festivals and street events do?

Let us know in the comments.

56 comments

  1. Jennilee Martin

    They need to get rid of the Boat races… with all that fuel in the river…

  2. Lee Smith

    They need to get rid of the drunks too .. lol

  3. Jason Becker

    the ignorant is strong in this one.

  4. Debbie Herrera

    Gina Ward,we were just talking about this

  5. Nathaniel Cooper

    This is a problem that seems to be happening in America. Do people want america to be great again? It’s not a political thing, it is a personal/cultural thing. This is one of the worst things i see everywhere in the world, and it always pisses me off to see that so many people don’t give a crap about the place that they visit. So, let’s make America great again by taking away things that people don’t respect, and i firmly believe things will change once they see what they have done, maybe.

  6. Mike Mcclelland

    This is why we need to build the wall!

  7. Tom Carroll

    Sadly I fear this is going to bring an end to the Parker float. If the river gets trashed like that I’m all for banning it. Leave no Trace!!

  8. Todd Burnett

    I don’t know about the other race boats but I run lean. Leaner than your Prius which has had to have its battery materials strip-mined in another sh!thole country because of its environmental impact. Shut up you stupid idiot. (Ps. I’m not a keyboard warrior, I’d say this to your face too)

  9. Amorette Navajo

    Kinda sad that this was the last awful regatta that the people will remember! Dirty how they just left trash everywhere to damage our beautiful Colorado River!

  10. Todd Burnett

    Also, I’m married to an Indian who can directly trace her family to the walk of tears so don’t try to pull that card either

  11. Glenn Thorne

    Wow. Absolute proven fact, power boaters leave and respect the waters more than anyone.

  12. Jason Becker

    residents of parker are not stoked on the float and for good reason. i’d be pissed if a bunch a drunks trashed my yard

  13. Nicole Venegas

    I hate it. It used to be fun when it was just a local thing. Then big money potential opened it up for all these people to come and get wasted on the river- they all seem to forget this is a hometown for us, we’re not all on vacation. From the drunkenness to the inappropriate attire in the stores as I’m there with my small girls trying to get groceries. They have no respect. This last tube float, a man in Walmart very loudly said “I know all these locals hate us out of towners. Tough shit! Deal with us or lose your town!” I glared at him and said “Sorry buddy- you don’t hold that much power. We’d survive without you”

  14. Fabian Castro

    Get rid of the tube float.
    Our water is more important.
    Bye

  15. Kelly Minor-Clarke

    Can’t blame them, after the way people trashed it. Sad.

  16. Raina Jordan

    Wow! So being married to an Indian makes it ok to talk to someone like that? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Why not try facts that support your argument instead of calling her an idiot

  17. Esi Liege

    This sucks next years float gonna be a joke! All those folks comin to our town now to screw it up.

  18. Ames Mike

    No, we dont need those people who trash the river at the Parker float!!!

  19. Scott D. Babcock

    When mothers pushing their strollers with their three to four young ones coming from the store and throw their candy wrapping down and it doesn’t faze them one bit. That’s why this country is headed in the direction it is. No one cares. What do we expect.

  20. Scott D. Babcock

    And fathers or their male friend.

  21. Sandy Kantor

    Hopefully this doesn’t spill over to the Parker float but my gut tells me something wicked this way comes…

  22. JasonCyndi Gould

    Chris Montoya. Clean up your trash

  23. Vicki Lotts

    Agree about the inappropriate behavior and dress …and hate that they are so disrespectful to town people.

  24. Vicki Lotts

    Hate that people care so little that they are willing to trash their vacation spot…so sad…but I also see people leaving diapers at the river when it is not out of towners..WE ALL HAVE TO CARE.

  25. Todd Burnett

    Raina Jordan did you read her entire post

  26. Tom Carroll

    Whats this my river crap? Its everyones river.

  27. Jennilee Martin

    Lol Todd your words have no power they only enlighten your small brain … I am who I am, brought here in my native land, I don’t get why people of any color are not bothered by people who destroy things for their own gratification … You are not given entitlement to disrespect anyone of color just because your married to someone of that ethnicity … In that comment you show yourself as ignorant…

  28. Alan Nelson

    It’s the Indian Casino that profits from the boat races in Parker. They sponsor them. They make bank from serving them in the restaurants. (+10% tax) They sell rooms to the racers and fans (+10% tax). They collect entry fees from the spectators. They happily take the money gambled by the Racers, crews and fans. Before condemning the people who race the boats, try protesting your own government for their greediness and disregard for the “environment”

    There used to be a large sign at the site of the Blue Water Resort that advised people that the desert there was home to ancient Indian artifacts, and for people to keep out. Back in the ’60s and ’70s when I showed friends that sign, I told them (predicted) that in 20 years the sign would say “Ancient Indian Resort Hotel and Casino”.

  29. Jennilee Martin

    Tom then you too should want to protect it …

  30. Alan Nelson

    The Parker Tube Float will continue and probably get bigger. We do have our own trash problems, just not on the scale of Bullhead’s. We are not as big as the Bullhead/Laughlin area and our “leaders” could not imagine the loss of revenue if the tube float were to cease. Tube Float weekend is bigger than Memorial Day. Sales tax, room tax, gas tax, criminal/traffic fines, entry fees, etc. No. Our leaders only see dollar signs, and ignore the human and environmental toll it takes on the area.

  31. Jennilee Martin

    Considering there is a drought and we already have people fight over our water … Shouldn’t we be protecting it rather then potentially contaminating it and destroying the living creatures?

  32. Marilyn Capel

    Kill the Parker float as well…bunch of asses that trash our homes

  33. Nichole Ortiz

    OH no!! Michelle Crider is this true?

  34. Michelle Crider

    Yes. It was voted on last night.

  35. I applaud the actions of the Bullhead City Council. Once upon a time the Regatta was probably a manageable event but obviously not anymore. Tons and tons and tons of trash on the shores and dumped in the River goes beyond unacceptable. I’m glad the Regatta has been canceled. Now the Parker Tube Float needs to go too. A clean sweep of the pigs that are ruining our waterways.

  36. OMG, if you bring it in take it out! What has happened to society? Are parents and schools not teaching kids to care for our natural resources? With all the sh*$ about global warming and we just leave our plastic in the same river that delivers our tap water? We have failed miserably and
    cancelling a river float doesn’t do enough to change things. So sad….

  37. Araceli Larraga

    Jeff N Stephanie McCormack looks like trouble heading our way next tube float at the RR

  38. We live on the river and had people damage our property. Walk in our house and have to be cared out a drunk girl. Then Had five guys want to fight me. It was to much for the sheriff. The people last year had no respect. I called the sherff and city and complained. Got no response. Over the tube float. Have to hire security this year. Charge the city for it.

  39. Bob Cox

    for god sakes dont let the pigs into parker end the float before they get there.

  40. Bob Cox

    what a dumb comment, races at parker have been going on since before you were born. before the casino it was blue water marina. and the racers are not the pigs. its the idiots in the tubes. the fuel from the race boats does not go into the water. unless there is an accident. and those that think accidents are cool are the dumb asses. and most times the boats are recovered quickly. and the sealing properties for the gas tanks in most cases do there job. and there is only a very small contamination. parker has quieted down from the old days, it is quite calm out there. compared to the old days

  41. Steve Mayers

    The regatta is dead. The floaters killed it. I was disgusted at what I witnessed during the aftermath of this event. This is a perfect example of herd mentality and blatant disrespect. Disrespect not only for the environment, but the residents of Bullhead City. What a shame.

  42. I seen comment about get rid of all the drunks ! Wow need to get ready all the people with boats polluting the water oil n gas , drinking on the river with boats all high in mighty but they are the ones killing people,boat accidents all the time !

  43. I live in BHC & have been coming here since 1972. Be warned Parker they will now head your way! At least we don’t have to put up with it until Laughlin gets his hands on it. The only ones who benefit is the casinos. Personally I’m glad we don’t have to put up with all the trash and trashy rude out of towners!! We would come here for all holidays and never once did we leave our garbage! So Parker good luck & God bless!!

  44. Mesh trash nets with floats to all registered floaters, when registering for the float people need to sign a statement that they won’t litter, Stiff littering fines, rewards for photos or video proof of somebody else littering etc….. there’s got to be ways to make sure this doesn’t happen to the Parker Strip.

  45. Gil Harper

    so where are the trashy people going next?
    You got it. parker. the tube float here has had its issues in the
    Past with cleanup after the tube race. parker needs money and
    Is now an easy prey.

  46. Jim Hamilton

    Parker has the same problem! Bunch of drunks that have no respect for people’s property.

  47. Time to start a petition now to end the Parker Tube Float!! =)

  48. I still don’t understand why the people who put on the event aren’t required to provide the clean up. It creates such a mess and they should make sure the area the same after as it was before. I don’t know why they depend on the locals to clean what they promote. Otherwise, cancel the tube float and and find some other way to raise the money.

  49. We pay copious amounts of money to the hosts of this event. They should hire a cleaning crew to be sure that this does not occur.

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