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Collection Tier:
Tier 2

Clothing and Accessories ➔ Hat, WLAV Raft Race

This souvenir hat is from the WLAV-Stroh Lite Raft Race of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event ran for 12 consecutive years until 1981 when it was banned by the City of Grand Rapids. This was due to injuries and a death resulting in a lawsuit against the City. The event was located from North Park to Riverside Park on the Grand River. According to a 1974 newspaper article in the Grand Rapids Press, it was described as "the largest aquatic outdoor beer party in the world." The article reported that in 1974 there were 877 rafts that registered and the year before, 1,276. Some musicians at the event included Bob Segar, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, Mahogany Rush and Dirk Rivers. The hat is souvenir from a short-lived but memorable event in Grand Rapids' history.
Gift of Dr. James & Judy Bender
Dr. James & Judy Bender
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