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Millcreek Journal

Millcreek celebrates Jordan River with Boats and Floats

Oct 02, 2019 03:58PM ● By Hannah LaFond

Volunteers make root beer floats at Millcreek’s Boats and Floats event.

By Hannah LaFond | [email protected]

On the first Saturday in September, dozens of children and families came together in Millcreek’s Sunnyvale Park for an afternoon of toy boat racing and root beer floats. It may sound like an odd combination, but this event, called Boats and Floats, was part of the month-long Get to the River Festival.  

“All through September, cities and counties along the river hosted events that aimed to celebrate, protect and restore the Jordan River. 

The Get to the River Festival was launched six years ago, but this September marks the first time Millcreek has participated. Millcreek might not be an obvious city to participate, because it has such a short riverfront of Jordan River’s 50 miles. Sunnyvale Park, where the event was hosted, isn’t even on the river. But it is close, and there are many recreational and educational activities Millcreek residents can enjoy. 

The Jordan River Commission had a tent set up at the event to educate about these activities such as biking, walking, boating and fishing. They discussed with attendees the safest and most environmentally friendly ways to enjoy all the river has to offer.  

The Jordan River is also home to a lot of wildlife. The Tracy Aviary attended to share information on the 200 bird species who call the Jordan River home.

Millcreek Councilwoman Silvia Catten was excited for everything this event offered the community. 

“The goal of this event is to celebrate the Jordan River in a fun way and get the word out that this beautiful river is in our community,” Catten said. “The Sunnyvale area is home for a very diverse population with a lot of kids, so the hope is that this will be a fun activity to see what the Jordan River has to offer.”

It was certainly a fun day for all the families who attended, with face paint, chalk art, root beer floats and games all free and available to anyone. Because the event wasn’t on the river, the organizers got creative with water-themed games. Right next to the root beer float stand they held toy boat races, using boats made of upcycled milk cartons on a small, inflatable water track. Families were able to enjoy the water, even without the river.  

Boats and Floats was held in conjunction with New Roots/International Rescue Committee at their Sunnyvale Farmers Market. Sunnyvale Farmers Market takes place Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m. and features locally grown produce, a food pantry and free lunch for children. The market also sells crops grown by local refugee farmers. It’s a great way for refugee farmers to sell their produce while also giving back to the community. 

Also at the market was a booth for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. They provided healthy snacks and informative material on buying local produce and preparing healthy meals on a budget.  

Altogether the Boats and Floats event was a day full of family, community, education and fun.