Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe will captain their respective municipal rowing teams when they face off in the inaugural Mayor’s Cup Dragon Boat Race on May 10 during the 15th annual Riverfest celebration.
On that Saturday, 45 teams will race the long dragon boats in the Chattahoochee River in front of the Coca-Cola Space Science Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Uptown Columbus’ annual Dragon Boat Festival.
“It’s exciting to see this type of activity with everyone on the river,” said Tomlinson. “I can’t believe I have let Uptown’s (CEO) Richard Bishop talk me in to a rowing contest against a former CFL player, but it will be a ton of fun. Eddie and I are good friends, so we will make a good time of this.”
Lowe was a football star at University of Alabama under coach Bear Bryant and then played professionally in the Canadisn Football League.
“This is going to be a must see event,” said Lowe. “The fact that we are able to come together and compete for the good of these communities speaks volume, and I am elated to be a part of it.”
The Riverfest festivities start on Friday, May 9, with music by “The Ultimate Eagle Tribute – On the Border” at 7 p.m. on the main stage in Woodruff Park. Saturday morning at 10 a.m., a Scout Expo will be held at Woodruff Park featuring geocaching, tomahawk throwing, archery and outdoor cooking, along with live music on the main stage all day.
In the river, activities will include stand-up paddling, kayak demonstrations, boatercross and rafting.
History buffs can enjoy the Whitewater Ironclads demonstration at Riverwalk Island at 10 a.m., presented by the National Civil War Naval Museum.
The Dillingham Street Bridge will host food trucks, local eateries and artisan vendors.
Starting at 7 p.m., the festival finale will be “Live at the Fillmore, the definitive tribute to the Original Allman Brothers Band.”
Admission is free both days.