Whatever Floats Your Float

liquid rules at the annual FATFAR on the Chippewa River

Sammy Gibbons, photos by Katie Lebrun |

What’s summer in Wisconsin without beer and floating down a river on any device that will not sink? The Chippewa Valley celebrates this glorious tradition for an entire day known as the Frenchtown Annual Tube Float and Regatta. The event, locally referred to as FATFAR, traditionally takes over the Chippewa River every third Sunday in June; this summer it was moved to the fourth Sunday, June 26, to avoid overlapping with Country Fest. The day of boozin’ and cruisin’ officially commences at noon, but this is not a strictly organized affair: Floaters can begin the trek down the Chippewa River whenever and wherever they please, and can make the decision themselves if they want to join a crowd at Loopy’s in Chippewa Falls. The restaurant will be serving food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) all day, offering a perfect quick break from the sun. There will also be live entertainment and activities to keep the floaters’ party going, and tube rentals will be available for people yearning to join. Participants are encouraged to get creative with their flotation devices and carry-along items; in the past, a hollowed-out Camaro rode along with the current, and coolers have been turned into sound systems. The event is heavy on liquids – it takes place on a river and many ounces of alcohol will be consumed – and while young ones cannot be prevented from floating, parents should be cautious. Also, those wanting to participate in shenanigans at Loopy’s will have to be 21 years of age or older.

Frenchtown Annual Tube Float and Regatta (FATFAR) • June 26 • Loopy’s Grill & Saloon, 10691 County Highway X/Business Highway 29, Chippewa Falls • begins at noon • free to float, cost varies for food and drink • (715) 723-5667 •