Volunteers Clean Up Oklahoma River Ahead of Weekend Festival

Wednesday, June 26th 2013, 4:48 pm
By: News 9

It's going to be a big weekend ahead down on the Oklahoma River.

It's the 2nd annual Sandridge Stars and Stripes River Festival. Volunteers have been working hard to clean up debris from all the storms.

A team with OKC Beautiful was out in the heat for hours Wednesday morning, pulling all kinds of debris out of the river to get ready for the event that brings in athletes from around the world right here to OKC.

Recent storms swept downed trees and just about everything you can think of into the Oklahoma River.

"We've been picking up massive logs all the way to a bed, things that have blown in from the storms and everyday life in the center of a city," OKC Boathouse Foundation spokesman Justin Wilson said.

The Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation is getting ready for one of its biggest events of the year, the Sandridge Stars and Stripes River Festival.

With a big mess to clean up by Friday, they called in some extra help.

"It's a lot worse just because the water, I understand, was almost all the way up to the boathouse, and so when that happens it just leaves a lot when it goes back down," OKC Beautiful Executive Director Lisa Synar said.

OKC Beautiful had dozens of volunteers out early Wednesday morning.

It's the latest in their cleanup efforts across the metro.

"We have just been on the phone and reaching out to our volunteers to help with any kind of cleanup efforts we can in South Oklahoma City and the Moore area," Synar said.

And thanks to their work here in the boathouse district, after many trips hauling off brush, a city favorite will be ready for the races.

"We wouldn't exist if it weren't for people going out of their way to make time to make this work," Wilson said.

The Oklahoma River will be lit up for the first time this weekend with the brand new stadium lights from the Maps 3 project.

The bulk of the racing will happen on Saturday, and 20,000 people are expected to attend.

Find out more about the Sandridge Stars and Stripes Festival!