Governments of Floyd County and City of Rome, GA

Downtown to Host Inaugural Spirit of the Sun Festival


By Amanda Carter

Spirit of the SunThe Office of Downtown Development is excited to bring a new event to Downtown Rome on July 7th as a part of the Downtown Rome Saturdays series.

To highlight Rome’s natural beauty and the three rivers that run downtown, the DDA Promotions Committee is bringing full day of fun by the river, the inaugural Spirit of the Sun Festival. To kick off this fun-filled day at 7 a.m., there will be a fishing tournament, the Kingfisher Classic. There are no motorized boats allowed. For more information and registration head to

The highlight of this day will be the Chieftain’s Challenge paddle race kicking off at 1 p.m. on Rome’s rivers. Friendly to both kayaks and stand up paddleboards, this race will go along all three rivers, the Coosa, the Oostanaula, and the Etowah and will begin at Heritage Park. Novices and elites both have the opportunity to race for cash and prizes. The 1-mile and 3-mile novice friendly races are designed for recreational paddlers of all abilities. The elite 6-mile race is geared for experienced paddlers and those training for the season's sanctioned races. The winners of the 6-mile races will receive $250 cash each thanks to Rome City Brewing Company’s sponsorship. Registration will be available on our PaddleGuru race website. Day of registration will also be available. Please register and check-in 30 minutes prior to your race. Check-in and registration will begin at 12 p.m. at Heritage Park. Must be 18+ to compete. (

Sweetwater Brewery will be sponsoring the Sweetwater Barge. The Roman Holiday will serve as the barge and will be docked and boarding at Heritage Park and then travel to the river confluence to watch the races. There will be tastings from Sweetwater Brewing available as well as food from Moe’s Original BBQ. While aboard you will also get to learn fun facts about beer and our three rivers. Tickets are $40 and you must show up at your scheduled time to be able to board. Tickets on Freshtix:

If you enjoy yoga then come out to Bridgepoint Plaza between 1-5pm. There will be free yoga sessions going on. City Creamery and Frios will have their pop carts at Bridgepoint during the day. Tropical sounds will also fill the air.
The race after-party at Bridgepoint Plaza will begin at 5 p.m. with awards and then will feature a FREE concert open to the public with summer vibes from Mario Diaz. Contrary to previous events at Bridgepoint Plaza, there will be no coolers or outside drinks allowed; Moe’s Original BBQ and River Dog Outpost will have armbands available for those over 21.

This celebration of our three rivers - the Oostanaula, Coosa, and Etowah - is created to encourage local citizens and visitors to take in the majesty of our rivers that run through downtown and enjoy our riverside walking paths and pedestrian bridges overlooking the racecourse. Of course, all of the downtown restaurants and shops will be available to shop and dine at all day.

This new event is made possible by the downtown business and property owners located in the Business Improvement District (BID) as well as our sponsors: River Dog, SweetWater Brewing, Moe’s Original BBQ, Yolo Boards, Cohutta Fishing Co., Rome City Brewing Co., River Dog Outpost, the Coosa River Basin Initiative, and Blue Sky Outfitters.

Parking for this event will be available at both Heritage Park and Downtown. The 3rd Ave deck will be free to the public, as well as the 4th Ave and 6th Ave decks.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Coosa River Basin Initiative. For more information head to the website: or check out Downtown Rome’s social media @DowntownRomeGA.

For questions please call the Office of Downtown Development at 706-236-4520 or email

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