RENO, Nev. - The Truckee River Foundation (TRF) will host the ninth annual Stay Afloat Safety Fair on Saturday, July 13, 2013, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., a day of free river safety classes for kids and parents.
The goal is to prepare children five to 13 and parents for a safe and fun river experience.
“We teach them how to swim through a rapid with their feet first, recognize some of the dangers of the river, and give them an opportunity to do everything they're doing now in the water, but learn how to do them with a life jacket," Jim Litchfield, board member for the Truckee River Foundation said.
Throughout the day, the Stay Afloat Safety Fair offers free 50-minute workshops that cover proper fitting of a personal flotation device and helmet, how to safely maneuver in the currents and eddies and how to escape potentially dangerous situations in the water. Each participant will be able to keep the equipment free of charge upon completing the course.
The foundation is also focused on giving kids individual attention, which is why instructors will only be working with three to four children each.
In addition, advanced classes using boogie boards are available for kids who have successfully completed the introductory workshop.
"We have boogie board surfing classes at the end of the day, so any kid who completes a morning workshop can come back and learn how to surf in the rapids," Litchfield said.
Through its River Safety Fair, TRF has distributed more than 1,000 free water safety helmets, life jacket and water shoes to kids who play in the Truckee River Whitewater Park. This year, the Fair is proud to announce the support of the Dixie May Foundation.
Reservations are not required and workshops are first come, first serve. Registration starts at 9 a.m. at west Wingfield Park.
TRF started the Stay Afloat Fair as a direct result of the enthusiastic response received from the community’s youth who have played in the downtown river since construction of the Truckee River Whitewater Park.