A Grand Weekend

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Last year the inaugural event, “The Grand”, had a goal of taking 1,000 paddlers down our river, and breaking the record of the most paddlers taken down our Hooch in one day. The event broke the record, and hosted more than 1,100 paddlers down the rapids of the world’s longest stretch of urban whitewater!


This Saturday, more than 1,500 rafters plan to join The Grand Columbus Whitewater Paddle.


This weekend, August 7th and 8th, join the Georgia ConservancyWhitewater ExpressUptown Columbus, The Loft, SweetWater 420, and This is American Music for the largest weekend of whitewater rafting on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia history!

The “Grand 2.0” includes deep discounts on whitewater rafting, live music Friday and Saturday, and a free SweetWater beer for every paddler.


Friday, August 7th Paddle Schedule
3:00 p.m. – Classic – $25 5:00 p.m. – Classic – $45

On Friday, August 7, The Grand Columbus Whitewater Paddle kicks off with discounted rafting – $25 and $45 at the 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. timeslots. Later that evening, “The Grand 2.0 Kickoff Party” begins with an acoustic showcase of live music and a SweetWater Brewing Company “tap takeover” at The Loft in Uptown Columbus. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. and acoustic music from Fire Mountain and Sailing to Denver will start at 9:00 p.m. The $5 cover charge will be donated to The Georgia Conservancy.

Saturday, August 8th Paddle Schedule
9 a.m. – Classic – $25 10 a.m. – Classic – $25 10 a.m. – Flatwater – $10
11 a.m. – Classic – $25 12 p.m. – Classic – $25 1 p.m. – Classic – $25
2:00 p.m. – VIP Only 3 p.m. – Classic – $25 4 p.m. – Challange – $45

On Saturday, August 8, The Grand 2.0 features deeply discounted rafting, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and includes a full day of free live music in Woodruff Park. Rafting prices are $25 per person for rafting trips between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The “Challenge” run at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. is $45 per person. For those interested in a more relaxing time on the water, Whitewater Express will lead a flatwater paddle to Oxbow Meadows starting at 10:00 a.m. $10 per person, not including boat rental, which can be arranged with Whitewater Express.


Every Grand 2.0 paddler receives a complementary wristband, souvenir cup and drink ticket (good for one SweetWater beer or Coca-Cola Company soft drink.) 


The “This is American Music Musical Showcase” starts at 3:00 p.m.

Fire Mountain Blue Blood Sailing To Denver The Bohannons
3:00 PM 4:30 PM 6:00 PM 7:30 PM

It is free, open to the public and will be hosted in Woodruff Park, adjacent to the Whitewater Express Outpost in Uptown Columbus.


The After-Paddle Party will include a SweetWater Brewing Company beer garden, food trucks, outdoor restrooms, and Grand 2.0 merchandise. 


Every paddler, aged 21+ up with a valid ID, receives a complementary SweetWater Brewing Company beer. From the Grand Columbus Whitewater Paddle Kickoff Party at The Loft on Friday night, to the After-Paddle Party in Woodruff Park, they will be serving up heady brews all-weekend-long with all proceeds going to The Georgia Conservancy.

Don’t worry non-paddlers, they have beer for you too! After party wristbands cost $8 and include a Grand 2.0 souvenir cup and a drink ticket (good for a soft drink or a SweetWater beer). Additional individual beer tickets cost $4, cash only.


After the sun goes down, Whitewater Express employees (and any adventurous whitewater kayakers) will put on a “Saturday Night Lights” demonstration on Riverwalk Island and it will be illuminated by stadium lights.

Not only is this an incredibly planned weekend, it also helps support the Georgia Conservancy. Their work for environmental advocacy, land conservation, coastal protection, sustainable growth and outdoor stewardship recognizes the connection between the environment, the economy and our quality of life.

The Georgia Conservancy strives to make Georgia a place where people and the environment thrive through protecting and conserving Georgia’s natural resources since 1967.


Images provided by William Brawley and content from Georgia Conservancy

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