Hundreds of people show out for Roanoke’s ‘Floatilla to Star Hilla’

Tubes, ducks and even unicorns made their way down Roanoke River for ‘floatilla’

ROANOKE, Va. – One way to beat the heat is to get the wackiest thing that floats, and head to the Roanoke River.

Hundreds of people did exactly that for this year’s Floatilla to Star Hilla.

The idea is to “flood” the river with people, pets, and floats. It’s a “bring whatever floats” kind of event — inflatable couches, giant ducks, SUPs, kayaks, tubes, etc...

People from all over the valley make their way to the annual event. Each year new faces join the party, and this year Brad Wilson knew he couldn’t miss it.

“All the people! Interacting with all the people that want to be out here as well,” Wilson said. “I think they should do these once a month! Bring everybody out once a month. Get a lot of folks out on the river, make some money for charity, for the foundation. Once a month would be great, especially during this heat.”

At the finish line of the float trip is Starr Hill Brewery. The party didn’t stop because people bought pints of beer with a dollar per pint going to Roanoke Outside.

Water levels for this year’s float were a little low, making the trek a little more difficult than usual. In some parts of the river it would take a bump or two with the rocks for people to get out and move their tube back into the flow.

“Oh yeah! There’s gonna be some scraping, some sliding, I’m afraid. We’ll get through it,” Lauren Metz said.

Cuts and bruises aside (some say it’s part of the journey), Floatilla to Star Hilla succeeded once again.

About the Author

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

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