Preparations underway for Boatnik, carnival kicks off Thursday

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Boatnik starts on Thursday.

That means preparations are now underway at Riverside Park, before the festivities begin.

The park officially closes after midnight Tuesday night.

The city of Grants Pass is clearing the park before Boatnik begins on Thursday.

Last Thursday, Grants Pass announced the park will be closed to the public beginning May 24.

This comes after a man was shot and killed at the park on Sunday the 14th.

But Boatnik is still happening.

The ‘Grants Pass Active Club,’ who runs Boatnik said a lot goes into getting Riverside Park ready.

“We have a contract where they actually turn the park over to us,” Jim Thompson of the GP Active Club said. “We are so spread out that we have a carnival to setup, we have vendors to setup, boat races, a golf shootout, a brew fest, a concert up at the softball diamond so this is our park that weekend.”

Major sweeps by police are being done in preparation for Boatnik, which includes cleaning up the park.

The Active Club said the marathon jet boat race and big hydroplane race on Monday are changing to the ‘short course’, due to high water levels on the Rogue River.

The races will now go from Robinson Bridge and back.

The carnival will kick off Boatnik on Thursday at 2 p.m..

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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