FLINT, Michigan (VNEM) – The Flint River Flotilla will be replaced with a Pirate Land Flotilla Feast due to the Flint River spill last month.
The Pirate Fleet Fest will take place at Tenacity Brewing, located at 119 N. Grand Traverse St. in Flint, Saturday, Aug. 6 from 13:00 to 17:00 The family party will be open to the public, admission costs $5.
“We have made the difficult decision to cancel the Flint River flotilla in 2022 in light of unresolved issues related to the Flint River chemical spill that began on June 15th. We just don’t have enough time to get answers to our concerns about the effects of the chemical spill and plan a safe and fun event for the Flint community,” said Sara Scheitler, manager of the Flint River Corridor Alliance.
Visitors can look forward to entertainment, a costume contest, a treasure hunt for children, sprinklers and water toys, food and drink, and more at the Flotilla Pirate Festival.
“A pirate party is not the same as a flotilla, but I think it would be a great time,” Scheitler said.
The event will raise funds to support the work of the Flint River Corridor Alliance around the river system in the City of Flint.
“We recognize the dedication of supporters, volunteers and employees of the Flotilla and we want to celebrate this. There will be no water event this year, but we hope this party will lift the spirits of our Flint River community and continue to spread the word about the importance of protecting the waters that belong to all of us,” Corridor Alliance Chair Kathleen Ghazall. said.
On June 15, hazardous material was discovered in the Flint River. Officials are still testing the material to identify it.
Scheitler said the group is working on its own independent trials on the river, but will not have results by the festival. They also asked EGLE for information on what substance was in the water.
“We are optimistic that we will receive them soon. But then again, without having them on hand, it’s difficult to plan an event where we literally ask people to get into the river with our bodies, ”Scheitler said.
The Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) confirmed that Lockhart Chemical Company was the source of the spill.
Lockhart Chemical Company facility main breach in storm sewer identified According to EGLE spokesperson Jill Greenberg, this led to her being fired.
The Genesee County Department of Health has banned contact with the river. Residents are prohibited from fishing, boating, or swimming in the Flint River from Stepstone Falls to the Genesee County line.
“We really hope that the river will return and heal, and we will all be able to enjoy it again as a wonderful resource,” Scheitler said.
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