Bullhead City River Regatta

by Evan Fuchs on August 11, 2009

If floating on the Colorado River with a few thousand friends sounds like your idea of a good time, you’ve got to check the Bullhead City River Regatta on Saturday, August 29th.


The float launches from Bullhead City Community Park at 9 am (check-in begins at 7 am) and winds 8 miles down the Colorado River, ending at Rotary Park. After party with food and entertainment!

Bullhead City Birthday Bath -n- Splash

No regatta is complete without a theme, right? Last year it was Pirates of the Colorado.

This year it’s Bullhead City’s 25th birthday celbration:

Think PARTY! (Cakes, balloons, presents, party games).

Think HISTORY! (what do you remember about the 1980s?)

Be sure to check out the Questions & Answers and Things to Know page from the official site. You’ll get all the details you need, like where to park, how much it costs, how to register your float, and so on.

Oh, and don’t forget about the Ye Gotta Regatta party on Friday night before the float from 5-10 pm. Best Bartender Contest, too? Yep.

The Regatta is GROWING so Register in Advance!

In only it’s third year, the annual Bullhead City River Regatta is growing exponentially. The 900 attendees in 2007 grew to 4,000 plus last year. They are now expecting more than 9,000 people. Holy Float!

Advanced registration for the float is strongly encouraged: Bullhead City River Regatta registration.

Are you a Floater?

If you’ve made the regatta float (or any other Colorado River float for that matter), I’d love to hear your story or see some photos. Please leave a comment or drop me an email.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Butterworth August 12, 2009 at 8:10 am

Hi Evan,

I’m so glad to have found you & your blog – great resources for us folks “in the city”! I only wish I had found you earlier, as I just returned yesterday from a long weekend of playin’ in the river (stayed at the Avi), and could have used some insider tips! Next time, right?!

PS – this Regatta looks like a blast! ;-)

Evan Fuchs August 12, 2009 at 8:44 am

Hey Chris,

I’m glad you found me, too!

Hope you had a good time at the Avi. It was a great weekend to be outside don’t you you think?

Next time you’re in town stop in and say hi. I come your way about once a month for AAR stuff, so maybe I’ll see you there.

BTW, I dig your “About Chris” page. I feel like I know you!

A Mother August 28, 2009 at 9:42 am

This looks like a lot of fun, but I’m a little concerned about the focus on alcohol. What kind of safety measures are you taking along the river float to ensure no one is injured or drowns as a result of excessive drinking? Wouldn’t it be great if you had a way to supply bottles of water to participants along the route, and save the drinking for aftersards, although you don’t want to encourage drinking and driving either. Fun in the sun on the water and alcohol just are not a good mix.

Alison August 31, 2009 at 10:45 am

If anybody attended this float and saw the fight that happened afterwards and would like to provide a statement defending the guy that got tasered for no reason, please let me know! We need all the help we can get becuase that was completely uncalled for. Pictures, Videos or statements would help greatly! Thank you!

Evan Fuchs August 31, 2009 at 11:04 am

I was in a wedding out of town this weekend so I missed the float. This is the first I heard about a fight. Let me see what I can find out, but if you have time to drop me an email or give me a call that would be great.


Alison August 31, 2009 at 11:49 am

Thank you so much! Ya the fight really was not that big of a deal, it was two drunken friends being idiots. The cops however blew everything out of porportion by tasing my boyfriend and turned everything into a big show! My email is a_m_burnett@yahoo.com if you can send me any information that would be great!!

cindi August 31, 2009 at 12:17 pm

i dont think the police where wrong why would two adult men start a brawl in a place where people come to enjoy the river and the event remember it only takes one idiot to ruin everybodies fun all i have to say is grow up and think of others keep your acts in california and not in OUR TOWN

Alison August 31, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I agree with you that they were idiots for fighting, but they had already broken themselves up when the cops came and in no way shape or form should he have been tasered!! The fight was done when the cops arrived, they were out of line!! And you know what, what do you expect is going to happen when a bunch of drunk idiots from all over come together? There is not going to be peace the whole time! Remember that your little city put this on, what the hell do you expect. Maybe your cops should come to California to learn how to deal with things that go wrong and that not everything is going to be flowers and candy! Its called Life!! All im asking for is help from people that saw it, not rude remarks and opinions!

Evan Fuchs August 31, 2009 at 2:55 pm

I wasn’t there so I can’t talk about whether or not the guy deserved to be tasered, but that is a real bummer. The idea is to come out and have a good time, not start brawling, get taken down by the cops, or worse, get killed.

Yes, it’s a fact that things sometimes go bad when you get a bunch of people together and introduce alcohol, but that’s not a California thing, it’s a people thing. Everyone – residents, visitors, and law enforcement, need to use their heads and especially respect the water and the heat.

I think “A Mother” called this one in her comment back on Friday.

It gets really old reading about people getting injures or worse in avoidable incidents while trying to have a good time.

Alison August 31, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Thank you for the kind words evan. It is not a California thing, its something that happens when people get drunk and cannot handle themselves. I do not agree with what my boyfriend and his friends did at all but that does not call for the police to do what they did. Yes people did go out to have safe fun but sometimes things happen.
All we want is poeple who saw the whole thing and can stick up for Brad and the crap he had to go through with the cops. It was not something him or anybody should go through when they are complying with police.

TYRONE April 12, 2010 at 8:30 pm

this will be my first time taking my dum ass down a fast moving river. i’m a idiot. but i’m going to do this. do you know if there will be shuttle back to the starting point were my vehicale will be.

Evan Fuchs April 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Hi Tyrone,

There is a shuttle. Check it out:

(from http://www.bullheadregatta.com/index.php?action=faq)

“We suggest people drop their floats off at Community Park, drive their vehicles to Rotary and park there. Then, take the Regatta shuttle back to Community Park. This way, your vehicle will be close when you come ashore”

Have a great time and be safe.

NaNA August 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I floated for the first time this year and I live here…..I would NEVER reccommend it again. It is full of a bunch of drunken’ teenagers not wearing life vest. It is not a family event like I was told. I brough my two kids and if I could have exited the river to my truck I would have. Again be prepared for an uncontrolled crazy mess at the end ,of heat exhausted drunks all trying to get to their cars, which may I add are still about a half of a mile down the road from where the event ends. IT IS NOT A FAMILY EVENT!!!! and realy who can the area officers realy control 10,000 people on a moving river???

Anonymous August 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I agree with you fully! I worked the event as a volenteer on a Seadoo helping folks in harms way and I will never ever do it again! Nor will I float it! It’s not ok to have death for the second year in a row!! Most of these folks have no idea what our river is about so then they add alcohol and now let’s swim? It was a joke for me and I will not ever suggest it to anyone!! What is our City doing? Sun, Water and drunks? hummm! We are lucky we only lost one so far!!!

Anonymous August 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm

you hi the nail squarely on the head all these out of towners dont relize how dangerous that river is i live on a high traffic street and during the regatta weekend i saw driving habits that were so bad i saw an npg driver pull out of a driveway and a big ole truck from california was going at least 50mpr down my street he had no intentions of stopping he swerved around the truck and dam near hit a car going east bound the speeding the drinking the pure idiotness of these people are completely out of controll ive come to the conclusion they all think this is the desert and they can do anything they want well as long as i live in this town i will do what i have to to make sure these idiots pay for the offenses that they coment

NaNA August 15, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Well thank you for your help cuz you were probably one of many that had to towed us out of harms way. If it weren’t for volunteers like youself who know where we would have ended up. I literaly had to use myself as a human tow rope to full my party of 40 to the opposite side of the river, I stuck myself through a round tube and held on to the back of a seadoo….and I am paying the price for it today…so score but had to do what I had to do to be sure we would make it to the park at the end. So thanks again for you people on the seadoos!!!

Anonymous August 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

Had fun until the police were diving for a man that had died. Then right after that we got caught in the undertoe. I had to pull an 8 and 10 year old onto our float cause there were jetskis and boats causing a lot of waves and tiped their float over. I did not think they were allowed during the float.

Annonamous August 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm

This event is crazy and the death was uncalled for!!! It was caused by a nice guy trying to help someone else that was in danger due to the roughness of water from all the boaters. Unbelievable how they can allow a mix of people floating on air rafts with or without a life jacket and then have big jet boats hauling up or down the river. This event is so dangerous and needs to stop if they cant make it safe. People are drowning and it could be prevented. Charge people to attend and they take a chance of loosing their lives. HELLO LAUGHLIN, WAKE UP AND SAVE LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cindi August 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm

well that buts a new spin on the story that was published in the mohave news they never mentioned the fact that this man was trying to save someone the artical only stated that a man jumped into the river and never surfaced. i dont think its fair to blame laughlin for the recklessness for the idiots that dont know how to behave you have to remember that this is a joint event so dont blame laughlin on the misfortunates that occur on the river when ever you have a large event such as this one theres always going to be trouble makers. i still like the fact that the two cities come together to have some thing fun for all the people with there friends and families.

Evan Fuchs August 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Thanks for your comments. I wasn’t at the float, so all I know about that incident is what I read in the paper and online.

What a terrible tragedy. It is possible to have fun on the river and be safe. I don’t like the idea of having boats going up and down the river during the float, and I especially don’t like the idea of anyone participating without a life vest.

The Regatta team did a good job in stressing that people wear a life vest, so I can see where Cindi is coming from.

I see people disrespecting the river every weekend. Like I said, you can be safe and have fun.

NaNA August 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm

They need to let people know that this is NOT a family event!!! They need to also mention that LARGE parties cannot be rescued due to their large size, we were turned away by so many volunteers because we had a party of 40 and they were not able to tow because we were to heavy. All in all you are out there at you own risk!!! I am just upset because when I was researching this event prior to the float all I heard was positive things and it is represented as a “family” event…..and it is everything but that. I bet all the ones that continue to post “positive” stuff on the website never actually floated down that river during the regatta….like this site.

Evan Fuchs August 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm


I have not participated in the float, but I have floated down the river many, many times. I know very well that it can be dangerous when the river is empty, much less when there are tons of people out there.

I can understand being upset though if you expected a family event. I didn’t realize it was promoted that way. A lot of people get out there to party – and drinking is obviously involved. It’s just a shame that people sometimes go too far and put partying above safety.

In regards to posting positive stuff on the web, it should be a positive experience, but you’re right that there should be more info about safety and the realities of boating/floating on the river. I’ll see about putting something together and posting it here.

Anonymous August 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm

well i beg to differ with you but this is and was meant to be a family and friends event i dont know what the problem was on the river that weekend but if you all let the idiots spoil it for the good people guess what people the idiots have won i there was aproblem with the motorized boats and sea doos you should write to the recreation dept. in bhc and let them hear your concerns am done with this conversation thank you

NaNA August 17, 2010 at 11:37 am

Evan that would be great. I think it is a great way for our area to raise funds and a great oppertunity for everyone to get out here and experience what our area has to offer, I would just love to everyone have a good time with less maddness in the end.

One thing people should know is that if their group/party is too large then the chance of getting towed or helped by the volunteers is less likely to happen since they are unable to tow so much weight. They may want to consider roping together in smaller group just incase they need to be pulled out of a current or accross the river. This is one thing we experienced since we had a party of 40. Just trying to help throw some ideas to consider and help everyone have a more enjoyable and less stressfull event. ;)

I don’t mean to sound negative about the event because I think the idea is great but people should know all “tips & tricks” positive and negative prior to hitting the river.

I am planning on working the event next year as a volunteer on a seadoo to help where I can.

Anonymous August 17, 2010 at 11:48 am

You know..I had car accident the night before i left on this trip down the street from my house in California…lol…I could have died then. Live your life to the fullest. I gotta say this Regatta thing was the best trip of my life!!!! I knew it would be hot, I knew there would be drunks and I knew it would be dangerous. Life is not guaranteed anywhere. Next time Im taking a wood paddle and a cheap waterproof camera..If you cant beat them…join them!..Definitely not for kids & you gotta wear that jacket!…..

Evan Fuchs August 17, 2010 at 3:28 pm

NaNa – I know some people at the city that are closely involved with the Regatta. I’ll pass these comments along for you. You might also want to contact them directly here: http://www.bullheadregatta.com/index.php?action=contact

Anonymous – I like your attitude. Still, the key is putting safety first. I know that may sound like a stock answer, but it’s totally possible to have a great time, have some drinks if that’s what you’re into, and still respect the river and other people out there.

DOLPHINCAR August 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm

my family and myself we very sad to hear that someone had lost their live, but now that i have read on god bless him and his family he is a true hero for trying to help someone in trouble. as a vet i give total respect to this man rest in peace my brother as a closing note the should not be a argument about where you are from or where you are going

Seasons October 30, 2010 at 6:31 am

You you should edit the webpage title Bullhead City River Regatta | Bullhead City Blog to more suited for your content you write. I enjoyed the post still.

ray July 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

is this years theme pirates? or 1980s party?

Evan Fuchs July 25, 2011 at 11:19 am

Hi Ray,

The theme this year is “Pirates of the Colorado.” Check out the website here: http://www.bullheadregatta.com

helen August 15, 2011 at 1:31 am

we had a great time at the 2011 regatta! Also at the 2010 and the 2009 regatta. It gets bigger every year, and it should. It is a howling good time. Just wear your life jacket and have a car ready at the end. Yeahooooo!

Wayne August 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Their was also a young lady in here 20s that drowed, along with the guy from cailfornia. I was told that it got crazy.

Evan Fuchs August 16, 2011 at 7:15 am


Glad to hear it! Just you and 30,000 of your closest friends, right? I have tons of pics and some videos I took from the river’s edge. I’ll be getting them up in the next few days.

Evan Fuchs August 16, 2011 at 7:18 am

Hi Wayne,

Hmm. I did not hear that. I know there was a drowning last year. Horrible. There has been a serious focus on safety, yet I watched lots of people without life jackets. Worse, people would take them off to dive in. Amazing. That’s what I heard happened last year. The victim had a life jacket, but took it off and never surfaced. Fun can go bad if you don’t put safety first, but what I saw this year was the overwhelming majority of people having a great time and playing safe. Thankfully.

Terri August 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I did the regatta 2011. I was told by my sister who did it last year it was a blast. We had a big group about 35 40 ppl. I would never do it again. It was fun but I was scared for my life at least 3 x’s through the float. We just about went into the rocks twice. All I can say is thank god for the young studs we had with our group. They really saved our asses. I would never tie that many up together. I think smaller groups are better. I heard 4 ppl died. One being a 6 yr old that wandered into the river and was found floating dead. My children are all adults and I would never take my children to this if they weren’t at least 16 or over. You forsure need an oar which we didn’t have. The problem was you wanted to make the money so you blocked off all other places to get on the river. I had friends that do it for the last few years but they stay at a house on the river and weren’t able to do it. They weren’t going to pay and go through the nightmare of 30,000 ppl at one starting point. You also said there would be transportation every 15 minutes. What a joke that was. We waited for the bus from the riverside for an hour to get to davis dam. Then after the float there was a 4 hour wait for the return bus. That was a major problem. You all had to know how many registered, so forsure your should have ordered alot more busses. Then the danger was getting to the dock where we had to get off at. This is where the craziness began. I don’t know what you can do to make a stopping point if you miss the dock. I thank god we all made it back in one piece. In our group we had very scary moments trying to get to the dock. Then when we got there it was such a disaster. People really I take care of where I live and visit. I love water and sunshine. But it really sucks when people leave their shit and trash all over the place. I love boating and the river beach
It really pisses me off when I see that. Who do you think is going to pick up your shit. I mean really!!!!!!! And then really what do you think you are going to have when you have drunk pissed off people cuz they are stranded. I will just say it was free sad entertainment. Nothing but drunks fighting all over the place. Lots of girl fights. It really was sad. But I can say I did it and thank god we all survived. Been there done that I wouln’t do it again. I don’t like to share my favorite place with all those people at one time. We had a huge group of family and friends celebrated a bachorette, bacholor party and a 21st birthday. All I can say is your whole town made a fortune on us. Then Don had to get greedy and charge to get into the loser lounge is where we finished the night. Good times by all but we will not do this again. You can have your busy crazy weekends lol

helen August 18, 2011 at 7:15 am

NO ONE DIED. Don’t spread untrue rumors. And we did hear about the chaos at the end. There were many thousands who registered last minute, so the busses weren’t reserved in time. That was a problem that will be dealt with next time. My gang loved it! And we had a car at the end so we could deal with our own transportation. Slow with coming back and forth a few times, but good.

Evan Fuchs August 18, 2011 at 11:20 am

Like I said, I haven’t heard of any deaths – thank goodness. The fact is the river is dangerous. People disrespect it every single day.

I learned my lesson(s) a long time ago. You can have lots of fun, but you always have to put safety first. May sound like a PSA, but it’s true. I don’t care if there are 29 people or 29,000, the river is a mighty, unrelenting force of Mother Nature that is no match for a mere mortal.

As far as transportation, it seems like they miss the mark on this one every year, but I know it’s not for lack of trying. I also know it will get better with experience.

Terri August 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

To Helen really no one died. Do you read girl? One man was reported and found dead after jumping into the river w/o life jacket. I heard he jumped in to help two young girls that had been flipped over by one of the seadoos that were supposed to help. I am just telling you the numbers are wrong of how many died and got injured. Thats all I’m saying. We all know the river is dangerous and we have to respect it. I never get off the boat or float when I am in the river. I guess I am a big chicken lol

Terri August 18, 2011 at 11:37 am

Oh monday morning I was talking to a man that lives there and he lets his daughter do it every year. He told me his daughter saw a 6 yr old girl that had wondered into the water and was found dead floating down the river right by them. So Helen wake up and smell the coffee lol I don’t spead rumors or bs just facts and reality sorry

helen August 18, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Terri, post a link to the published “facts” you are refering to, make sure the date is the same as this year’s regatta. If you are right I’ll admit it, but I don’t think you are.

ConcernedPerson December 11, 2011 at 10:40 am

It doesn’t surprise me to hear both positive comments by people that are making revenue for the CITY, its all about the money. It doesn’t surprise me to hear the negative comments , I wonder why you would think the CITY would be concerned about your SAFETY they got your MONEY or why would they CARE about your lack of proper transportation. If you want to call it public safety then perhaps they would eliminate the DRUNKS from operating a vehicle or charging them with DUI. This is a extremely corrupt city, one where you can be 4 times the legal limit to drive, hit someone headon and not even get arrested or a ticket for driving in the wrong lane. Think again Californians before heading any where near this area at all, you are risking quite literally your life, in a place that has no accountability.

helen December 11, 2011 at 11:10 am

Hey “concerned person”, what’s that about “positive comments by people that are making revenue for the CITY” ? I made positive comments, are you implying I am making them because of money? I’m not. I love the regatta, I have a fantastic time, tons of fun, I bring others from far away who also have a fantastic time. I’m glad if the city makes money, and I am happy to support businesses here. Hey Californians, come on out, enjoy our town, enjoy our river, check out the off-roading as well, eat in our restaurants and rent our vacation homes. This can be a very fun place. We just all need to be careful and respectful .

ConcernedPerson December 29, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Helen, There’s nothing here due to respect, only accountability for those whom reap the benefits of marginal profits at the costs of lives and condoned irresponsibility. The river is already polluted enough without copious amounts of urine, human waste and beer cans. On the other hand its not such a bad idea to party out here, since the water is clearly irradiated and some would say toxic (ask the locals). These events just support the idea of chlorine in the gene pool. PARTY ON!!

ConcernedPerson December 29, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Ignorance is bliss, and plausible deniability about the waters pollution gets thrown out the window with this knowledge. Visit this site and educate yourselves. http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/water/download/ccra06.pdf

Mike Gonzalez July 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm

any word on where the 2012 Regatta start and end point will be? I just registered and booked my hotel at the Don Laughlin and I am trying to get prepared. Thank you.

Evan Fuchs July 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Hi Mike,

It’s my understanding that there will be two launch points; Davis Camp and Community Park; and the end point is Rotary Park. There is also transportation available by bus. For more info checkout http://www.BullheadRegatta.com, call 855-Ya-Gotta, or check the Regatta Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/105385342878/

Hope that helps.

Riveroe August 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm

We floated last year with our 16 year old daughter and a few of her friends and we had a blast. So much that we are coming back this year.. As with everthing there is always room for improvement and hopefully thing will be better on some things…Can anyone tell me if the whirpools that everyone were stuck in was before the white overhead bridge thing ??

Rose August 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Do you absolutely have to pay to float?

Evan Fuchs August 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Hi Rose – Yes, you are required to register and wear a wristband in order to participate. From Bullhead Regatta on Facebook:

Everyone is required to be a registered Regatta participant to float in the Regatta. You must have completed your liability waiver and you MUST be wearing your wrist band and Life Jacket while on the water. The United States Coast Guard has established a SAFETY ZONE From Davis Dam to the South End of Rotary Park on Saturday, and people who violate this Safety Zone will be subject to fine of up to $10,000 and 10 years in prison.

Enjoy the float!

Anonymous April 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Oh this gave me a laugh! Us idiots from California!!!!? :)

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