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Ramblin’ Raft Race

by Chris Schroder

The Ramblin’ Raft Race, from 1969-1980, exemplified the 1970s: some nudity, drinking, drugs, combined with environmentalism. The annual Memorial Day race on the Chattahoochee River brought 300,000 participants at its peak. Party-goers “shot the hooch” in store-bought and infamous homemade rafts while spectators watched and celebrated as rafters meandered from Sandy Springs to Vinings.

The tradition was started by a group of Georgia Tech fraternity brothers and grew yearly until its final race. The event was shut down after race officials could no longer pay for security and cleanup and as concerns increased about the environmental impact on the river.

– Mark C. McDonald, Georgia Trust

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