Tug-of-war highlight of River Fest event in downtown Newnan

by Sarah Fay Campbell

alt

Teams battle in canoe tug-o-war inside Cedar Creek Outdoor Center’s portable pool – set up on South Court Square in downtown Newnan Wednesday for the River Fest event. 


An enthusiastic crowd descended on downtown Newnan Wednesday evening to watch the canoe tug-of-war competition held on South Court Square in a large pool of water set up on the street.

The tug-of-war competition, which featured around 14 teams, was the highlight of the Chattahoochee Bend River Fest, a joint effort of the Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park and Main Street Newnan.

The event was a way to welcome the 400 participants in Paddle Georgia 2014, a weeklong trip down the Chattahoochee River.

The paddlers are camping for two nights at Newnan High School as they float through Coweta County, and they came to downtown Wednesday to eat and to enjoy the music and competition.

Brian Schnitzer of Lawrenceville and Patrick Carey of Canton are participating in their fourth Paddle Georgia.

“We love it,” Schnitzer said. “It gets us out in the local community. We have a lot of fun.”

They were both surprised at the size of Newnan High School. Schnitzer asked if it is the county’s only high school.

The Environmental Club at Newnan High coordinated the tug-of-war, and club members also will be feeding breakfast to the paddlers today and Friday. The meal will feature compostable dishes, utensils and food, said club member Lollie Davis.

The club members put in a lot of work preparing for the event, said club sponsor Lindsey Kee. “These kids have been great,” she said. Kee was impressed with the the amount of support the event received from local businesses and organizations. “I’ve never been more proud to live in Newnan.”

Dean Jackson of the Friends of Chattahoochee Bend was pleased with the turnout. “We really appreciate Main Street partnering with the Friends to do this,” he said.

Before the tug-of-war began, a long line of children waited to take their turns paddling in kayaks.

“It’s a neat thing,” said Bill Headley, whose grandson Harris took a ride in a kayak. “It’s great that they’ve got this … we try hard to put on a good show in Newnan.”

Maao Kim and Steve Greene recently relocated to Newnan from Greenville, S.C., and were glad to see downtown events reminiscent of the ones they enjoyed in Greenville.

Kelly Jackson found the event “very family-friendly.” While at River Fest, she gathered information on an upcoming day camp at Chattahoochee Bend.

Lauriston Hardin talked to Ali Gordy, the new naturalist at the park, about Chattahoochee Bend’s trail system.

“This is awesome,” he said. “I love having events here.”

It was “another great opportunity for downtown Newnan to host an event for locals and visitors,” said Hasco Craver, Newnan director of business development.



More Local

Governor's widow to be buried today

The widow of Gov. Ellis Gibbs Arnall will be buried in Newnan today. Ruby Hamilton Arnall, 96, Friday. Her funeral service will be today at ... Read More


Buy One, Give One

Local clinic receives $10,000 grant

Local New York Life agent Warren Budd, with the help of his colleagues, recently secured a $10,000 Community Impact Grant from the company t ... Read More


Harassed by former city employee

Torment victim challenges Senoia council

For more than two years, Pat Sharp felt like a prisoner in her own home, thanks to the actions of her next door neighbor, Joey Bigler. Bigle ... Read More


Regional leaders taking fresh look at TSPLOST

The regional TSPLOST for this region was rejected by voters five years ago, but new legislation has regional leaders looking at options for ... Read More


NTH Turns 150

Historic local newspaper photos sought

The Newnan Times-Herald is asking readers to share stories related to the newspaper’s history as the Times-Herald’s 150th birthd ... Read More

Department of revenue Chief shares info on tax fraud crackdowns

The Georgia Department of Revenue saved Georgia taxpayers over $33 million in fraudulent tax returns in 2014, according to Revenue Commissio ... Read More