Participants of the 19th annual Tennessee River 600 will arrive in Chattanooga in the late afternoon decked out in red, white and blue on Sunday, July 26.
"This year, coming into Chattanooga will be a somber arrival. We will only be ten days beyond the shootings that killed five of our own servicemen. We'd like to do something to honor them, their families and this community," Event coordinator Dennis Beckley said.
Participants wil lattach American Flags to their personal watercraft for the last leg of the day's journey — from Chickamauga Dam to the Downtown Chattanooga Riverfront, the press release said.
"We want to invite all Chattanoogans, military and families to come to riverfront in a joint effort to show support to those that serve. We have representation from all over the country and Canada, this year, that want to show support. This is a favorite stop for our participants and one that is deep in our hearts," Beckley said.
Participants plan to lock through Chickamauga dam at 4 p.m. and will be traveling through downtown Chattanooga from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The group will be staying on Chattanooga riverfront.
"We would love to see everyone out and we plan to donate our flags to the memorials that are already in place," Beckley said.
The Tennessee River 600 is also designed to promote Tennessee tourism and water safety, as well as to portray PWC's in a positive light, and is the longest running organized event in the United States for personal watercraft. Participants raise money for the TWRA and Children's Hospital, the press release said.
Participants lock through eight TVA dams during the week-long journey. Support services are provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. All of these agencies help make this a safe and fun trip for everyone.
For more information, please visit www.tennesseeriver600.com or follow Tennessee River 600 on Facebook or TNR600 on twitter for live updates.