2022 Boatnik festivities kick off

GRANTS PASS, Ore. —Josephine County’s signature celebration is now back, in full. Thursday marks the first day of the 2022 Boatnik Festival. In case you don’t know, this community celebration goes back more than half a century!

The event that’s been serving the community for over 60 years, is back on Thursday. And organizers are excited, after what’s been a tough couple of years in this pandemic.

“We are back full force we are so excited, the guys are excited the community seems to be excited,” said Randy Fisher, President of the Grants Pass Active Club.

A longstanding memorial day weekend tradition is officially kicking off. Boatnik’s carnival opened Thursday afternoon with $3 rides. The community tradition is put on by the Grants Pass Active Club, with proceeds going toward helping youth in Josephine County.

The five-day event features rides, vendors, boat races, fireworks, a parade, and more. This year it’s adding a cornhole tournament.

“We got the carnival behind us, right down the row we got food row on one side commercial on the other and it runs through the park and we got beer garden, kitty rides so we’re back to full bore we did not have this last year,” said Fisher.

The event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Last year it was put on at half capacity. Now, everyone is gearing up, including law enforcement.

“We’ll be fully staffed in the park, with police officers, cadets, parking enforcement our volunteer auxiliary motor officers from various different departments that will assist us to make sure everyone is having a good time,” said Lt. Jeff Hattersley with the Grants Pass Police Department.

In light of recent mass shootings, and past incidents at Boatnik, Grants Pass Police are ready to take on any challenges. It hopes to have a presence throughout the area.

“Now that we’re out of Covid, it’s nice for everyone to be able to get out and have fun, what we’re hoping is everyone will show up at the park, have a good time, follow the rules, be considerate of others and just enjoy our time together at Boatnik,” said Lt. Hattersley.

But one thing is certain everyone is thrilled to have this longstanding tradition back in southern Oregon.

“Boatnik is one of my favorite events to go to every year,” said one visitor. “It’s lots of fun for me and the other kids,” said another. “We like to look at Boatnik because it’s so much fun,” said another visitor.

GPPD says 6th Street will be closed on Saturday for the parade at 10 am, from ‘A’ Street to the river.

You can find the full schedule here.

Leave a Comment:

Note: By commenting below you agree to abide by the KOBI5.com commenting guidelines. View the KOBI5.com Comment Board Guidelines »

Jenna King
NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
Skip to content