FATFAR preparations spark police warning

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- It's almost time to hit the water for the 41st Frenchtown Annual Tube Float and Regatta, but before grabbing your tube, police have a message of safety.

The event that sends thousands of floaters down the Chippewa River every year was moved from its typical weekend on Father's Day because of Country Fest.

Loopy’s Bar & Grill helps host FATFAR and says because of the move it expects the event to be jam packed.

“We’re going to have a DJ, we’re going to cookout, we’ve got a fire pit going this year and we’ve got giant Jenga, so it’s going to be a good time,” said owner Loopy Kleich.

However, with great fun comes great responsibility.

“Trash has always been a problem in the past. We want to make sure the river stays clean this year,” said Kleich.

He asks tubers to, “Keep the glass off the river, throw your cans in those onion sacks we’re providing and it's going to make for a great FATFAR this year. It's going to keep the river clean for everybody to use in the future.”

Chippewa Falls Police say extra officers will be on patrol for the event.

“We want to make sure people are having fun but doing so responsibly. That goes not only on the water but after the water,” said Investigator Rob Teuteberg.

The department says it won't be issuing citations for vehicles left at drop-off sites the next day to ensure everyone gets home safely.

Teuteberg added, “We understand alcohol is consumed there and that's okay as long as they're doing so legally, responsibly, and safely.”

It’s an effort Loopy's is also promoting by offering safe rides home through Right Way Shuttle at no charge within 15 miles.

Kleich explained, “Safety is our number one concern, picking up trash is our number two, and then it’s just everyone having a fantastic time here at Loopy's.”

The DNR will be on the water during the event as well.

Police also want to remind tubers that OWI can run over a $1,000 and a fine for an open intoxicant runs around $200.

Officers say don’t drink on the landing dock but wait until you're on the water where it's allowed.

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