Saturday, August 15, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunset Park, 18th Avenue & Sunset Road, Rock Island IL
Although there are changes in store for this year's event, River Action's 11th-annual celebration of paddle sports Floatzilla is still set for launch on August 15, with participants and spectators gathering at Rock Island's Sunset Park in their kayaks and canoes to enjoy a day in the great outdoors while maintaining safe social-distancing measures.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, River Action's most popular launch sites at Leach Park, the Bass Street YMCA, and the Lindsay Park Yacht Club will have registrations limited to 400 paddlers this year. Their launch windows, however, are being expanded to four hours, and the Floatzilla team will be assigning half-hour launch windows to each group or paddler. Buses back to each launch site from Sunset Park's Lake Potter will leave every half hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Lockmaster at Lock and Dam 15 will have ropes crossing the lock area this year so that paddlers can put six feet of distance between themselves and their neighbors. River Action will not, however, be hosting Lake Potter's annual World Record attempt this year.
Paddlers can launch their canoes and kayaks directly from Sunset Park's Lake Potter from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., or from one of five additional sites along the Mississippi River. Launches from Moline's Bass Street YMCA and Bettendorf's Leach Park take place from 7 – 11 a.m., with voyages of roughly six-and-a-half miles; the estimated paddle time for each is between two and three hours, and river crossing is required for the Leach Park launch. The launch from Davenport's Lindsay Park Yacht Club will take place from 8 a.m. to noon and include a five-mile paddle, with an estimated paddle time of two-and-a-half hours and river crossing required. Davenport's Marquette Street Landing launch will occur between 9 and 11:30 a.m., and will feature a two-mile route with an estimated paddle time of one hour, with river crossing required. And the launch from Davenport's Credit Island will take place between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and offers a half-mile paddle across the river into Lake Potter, with an estimated paddle time of a half-hour.
River Action's Floatzilla team has also coordinated with a number of Midwestern outfitters to rent canoes and kayaks for the event. Those needing a canoe or kayak are invited to reserve them through: River Basin Canoe & Kayak; CrawDaddy Outdoors; Hometown Bait & Paddle; Paddle On! Outfitters Inc.; Larsen's Landing Outfitter; and Kishwaykee Canoe. Phone numbers and Web sites for all of Floatzilla's outfitters are available through River Action's Web site.