California had a major Florida moment this weekend when a “Rafting Gone Wild” event on the American River broke into a brawl and drunk people started “beating each other with paddles or rocks and hurling stones at fire and rescue boats.”
Invented as an answer to Sacramento’s 4th of July alcohol ban, “Rafting Gone Wild” (also called “raftapalooza”) was a 3,500-strong rafting party, complete with coolers of beer, funnels and wireless stereos wrapped in saran wrap and taped to avoid water damage.
“I’m sure you know on major holidays they don’t allow alcohol, so the kids put it together on a non-major holiday,” some grown-up told a KCRA reporter.
“There are so many intoxicated people it’s like ridiculous,” a 20 year-old floating girl told the Sacramento Bee.
As is wont to happen with a ridiculous number of intoxicated people, the day devolved from a peaceful float down the river to a series brawls, one on the beach at Ancil Hoffman Park, another at River Bend Park where the rafters ended their day. Rafters were hurling stones at deputies, and by 5pm, law enforcement was “dealing with fights constantly,” reports the Sacramento Bee.
At least 12 were arrested.
Assuming local officials banned alcohol on 4th of July to avoid drunk driving tragedies, it’s hard to imagine why they replaced the celebrations with drunk rafting. Americans seem to have a primal urge to get shitfaced in July; whether they do it on land or water, it’s bound to get trashy.