Take A Free Boat Ride on Chain of Lakes at 7 Rivers Water Festival This Saturday
by James Coulter
Summer may be drawing to a close, but it’s never too late to enjoy the Chain of Lakes in Winter Haven. Take a 35 min. tour of the waterways while learning about water conservation during Saturday’s 7 Rivers Water Festival.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the City of Winter Haven will be hosting its annual 7 Rivers Water Festival in Downtown Winter Haven. Boat tours will be offered every 45 minutes from Lake Howard, allowing people an opportunity to see the lakes and waterways and learn about the importance of protecting them through water conservation.
“What they will discuss is the pollution of our lakes, when we throw trash out the window, how it goes into our storm drains and into our water bodies,” explained Keeli Carlton. “So the protection of the environment and water resources on all levels will be happening on our tour.”
Polk County Utilities will also be offering tours of the water and wastewater treatment plants in Winter Haven, providing people a peek into how their water is treated before and after it leaves their homes.
The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the 7 Rivers Water Festival 5K, hosted by the Lakes Education Action Drive (LEAFs), that will start in Central Park and go through the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes trail. Other festivities include vendors and activities that will entertain guests of all ages andenlighten them about their local waterways, water systems, and overall water conservation.
“It is a festival centered around water conservation and water resources,” Keelie explained. “We are educating the population about conserving our water supply to benefit our natural environment.”
To ensure public health and safety during these uncertain times, special precautions will be taken. Masks will be highly recommended but not required, and hand sanitizer will be offered at hand-sanitizing stations and at every vendor.
Ever since the event started many years ago, the 7 Rivers Water Festival has allowed residents to appreciate better and learn about their natural resources, especially the Chain of Lakes.
“I think our county as a whole is very focused on our national resources,” Keeli said. “Polk County has so many lakes. It is an attraction here. It is a tourist attraction all on its own. So I think our community as a whole has a good understanding of a lot of resources in general and knowing they can get an education and have fun with our families with hands-on activities and being outdoors, it [the event] is very successful.”
The 7 Rivers Water Festival will be hosted on Sat., Sep. 18,from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Central Park in Winter Haven. For more information, visit their website at: https://www.polk-county.net/utilities/7-rivers-water-festival