WMUR | Troy Lynch | June 18, 2023
FRANKLIN, N.H. — Winni River Days came back for its fifth year bringing white-water paddlers to compete in Franklin for the weekend.
It’s a three-day-long event where spectators come for free to see some white-water racing.
“Every year it gets a little bit better. Every year we're attracting people from farther away," said Marty Parichand, founder of nonprofit Mill City Park, that ran the event.
It's the only white-water park in New England with about 40 people from all over competing this year.
It was the largest crowd that Winni River Days has seen in its five years.
“Oh it was amazing, the crowd was huge. It was bigger than I thought," one competitor said. "A lot of locals which was really cool to see.”
Others travel to franklin for fun, like Szombie Szabo from Pennsylvania, who's been out here since Thursday.
“Had to come out," Szabo said. "As soon as I heard there was a wave here that was worth coming to, there wasn't nothing stopping me.”
People also liked the new addition of the raft races.
“A bunch of people in a brightly colored bus trying to trudge down the river is always fun,” Perichand said.
Despite the poor weather, Winni River Days brought a good amount of tourism.
“Last night Vulgar Brewing Company had a 30 minute wait to get in,” Parichand said.“The Water Horse, we tried to make a reservation and weren't seated until 9:30.”
Spectators and participants said they will be back.
So about 20 to 30 yards before the final wave of the river, the nonprofit Mill City Park said they are trying to raise $2.5 million to put in another wave for people to surf on.