Hundreds float Chippewa River for annual FATFAR

Chippewa Falls (WQOW) – As you may have witnessed, nothing stopped valley locals from hopping on a tube Sunday and floating down the Chippewa River.

Loopy’s Grill & Saloon rented out tubes to hundreds of people, 21 and over, for the annual FATFAR, a tubing event which launched below the Chippewa River dam.

Loopy’s holds 612 tubes. Employees said hundreds were rented out within the first two hours, estimating at least 70 tubes left by 2:30 p.m. Hundreds more joined in the water with their own floating supplies, some, floating FATFAR for their first time, not worried about possible high and fast waters.

"It’s FATFAR," said Jakob Hauble of Boyd. "It’s the world’s largest tubing event. I don’t think there was any hesitation. I don’t care if we are flooding over. As long as we have beers in our hand and tubes to float on, we’re going down the river."

According to our weekend meteorologist Just Esterly, the Chippewa River in Chippewa Falls has dropped 10 feet in the last five days. The river is currently at around 7.5 feet. Waters were still a little faster than normal. Tubers said time flew by from the launch site to Loopy’s.

"It took about 2 hours," said Samantha Kleich of Eau Claire. "Usually, I’ve gone before, it takes like three hours, but it was like faster."

There were no reports of tubers in distress. Law enforcement said the event ran smoothly.

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