Fools’ Flotilla Returns to Madison on August 29

Jul 29, 2021 | Recreation

River Alliance of Wisconsin is proud to announce the return of Fools’ Flotilla in 2021. The event welcomes paddlers to Madison’s Yahara River as a part of this year’s Orton-Front festival. The floating parade will include live music and costumes are encouraged.

“Fool’s Flotilla began as a fun way for Madison neighbors to enjoy the Marquette Waterfront Festival,” said River Alliance Executive Director Allison Werner. “It just grew and grew over the years and is now a tradition Madisonians look forward to. River Alliance of Wisconsin hosts the event to ensure a safe and fun experience for people to celebrate one of Wisconsin’s beloved urban rivers.”

Fools’ Flotilla, like many community events, was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year the Marquette Neighborhood Association will make up for lost time by hosting an event that combines the best of the Waterfront Festival and the Orton Park Festival. Live music and family friendly events will be held at both parks – including two nights of Cycropia Aerial Dance in Orton Park. 

Fools’ Flotilla invites those with canoes, kayaks, or anything that floats to join a parade down the Yahara River. Family-friendly costumes for people, pets and boats are encouraged and celebrated. Registration and information begins at 9:30 a.m. and the river parade starts at 10:30 a.m.

The event is free for all ages, but participants should register and sign a safety agreement. Pre-registration for Boat Captains is available online.

Local businesses are invited to sponsor this high-visibility event. Early sponsors include Heartland Tree Company, Lauer Realty Group, and Sitka Salmon Shares. To sponsor, contact Karen Anderson at [email protected].


This message is made possible by generous donors who believe people have the power to protect and restore water. Become a member of River Alliance of Wisconsin today.