EAU CLAIRE (WEAU) Dozens of floaters took part in Slim Far on Saturday afternoon, the annual family-friendly tubing event on the Chippewa River, which is dedicated to having a good time without the pressures of alcohol.
“The event stands for sober or serene living is marvelous. It’s the opposite of Fat Far. Which means its drug and alcohol free,” said Kitty Mance of Altoona, the event’s creator.
Fat Far is a notorious June event in Chippewa Falls where hundreds of participants float down the Chippewa River drinking alcohol.
Two weeks later and several miles down the River, dozens gathered in downtown Eau Claire’s Phoenix Park for the alternative float down.
While she’s not opposed to Fat Far, Slim Far organizer and creator Kitty Mance said there aren’t many float down events in the Chippewa Valley that accommodate families and recovering alcoholics.
“I came up with the idea last year. I’ve been alcohol free myself. There aren’t a lot of things for people to do that don’t include drinking or drug abuse,” Mance said.
Abby Schroeder of Eau Claire said she came to the event to catch some rays and to support her friends who are going through recovery.
“There is a lot of drinking in Wisconsin. And you can have fun being clean and sober too,” Schroeder said.
For some, Slim Far is an event to celebrate reaching another milestone in their recovery from alcohol addiction.
“I’m proud. I came a long way from where I was a year and a half ago. I’m 18 months clean,” Mance said.
“So if I can do it at my age anyone can. That’s why I stick around, to show you can do it at any age, at any time,” said Mary Jane P. of Eau Claire.
The floaters ended their cruise down the river at the Hobbs Ice Arena boat landing.