Drag boat races set in Florala today

Published 2:56 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

Lake Jackson will be closed to boating and swimming today, as the town plays host to a Southern Outlaw Dragboat Association race.

It’s the second year the event has been staged in Florala, and organizer Jay Jackson of Ozark said he expects the race will be bigger this year.

“We had around 35 boats last year, and we expect more this year,” he said.

The event will be similar to the one held in 2017, he said, but T-shirts have been added this year.

“We start about 11 and go until 4 p.m., depending upon the weather,” he said. “It’s a free event, so it attracts a lot of people.

But boaters will spend $200 per class to compete in the race. Jackson said that a similar race has been run annually since 2007 at Ft. Rucker.

The Ft. Rucker event typically draws in 3,000 to 5,000 spectators, and city officials in Florala hope Saturday’s activities draw a crowd.

“It’s important that we do these types of things to get people to our town,” Mayor Terry Holley said. “It’s important for the merchants and the residents. We want people to see our beautiful lake and all that we have,” he said.

Since taking office, Holley has focused on having events at least quarterly at the lake. In May, the town hosted military exercises.