As has been the case the previous six years, and even prior to that when the gathering wasn’t an official event, last weekend’s Old Hickory Fun Run, Bar Crawl and Raft Up was an impressive happening smack dab in the middle of Tennessee. Taking place at Sam’s Sports Grill – Blue Turtle Bay Marina on Old Hickory Lake, which is part of the Cumberland River and just northeast of Nashville, the seventh annual event had more than 80 boats in attendance this year and some unforgettable raft-ups that complemented the one-of-a-kind Nashville nightlife and a new, more private atmosphere for Saturday evening’s festivities.
Justin and Erin Lucas took a couple of friends with them in their new 32-foot Spectre catamaran for the seventh annual Old Hickory Fun Run, Bar Crawl and Raft-Up. All photos by Kevin Johns/Instant Memories Photography
“We probably would have had another 20 boats or more if the water conditions were better,” said Tennessee’s Justin Lucas, who helps organize the Tennessee Powerboat Club-produced run. “Unfortunately we’ve had some rain and a good amount of debris that kept some boats away. Everyone still had a great time—the Friday night bar crawl was as cool as ever and the tent party worked out well because we had full control over the food and bar and it kept out some of the party crashers who didn’t register for the event.”
Lucas, who ran his new-to-him 32-foot Spectre Powerboats catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines, said the event once again benefited the local veteran and military organization Operation Stand Down Tennessee, which provided a dozen volunteers to help things go smoothly.
Local performance boater R.B. Hixson, who has participated in the event every year, said he had a good time as usual in his 38-foot Donzi Marine center console.
Check out the slideshow above for more images from the annual event.
“I know the water conditions kept some people away this year, but I think the fun run is less about the boating and geared more toward the social aspects of seeing good friends and everything else that Nashville has to offer, especially for people coming from out of town,” Hixson said. “More and more people are coming in on Wednesday or Thursday and turning the fun run into more of a vacation because of everything there is to do here in Nashville.
“I definitely liked how the organizers mixed things up by setting up the tent in the parking lot,” he added. “Before, the event was more sprawled out on the docks. The tent atmosphere, which was really nice with the band and the good meal, was top notch. It was air conditioned and gave us a place to get out of the heat and it kept everyone together for longer. In my opinion, it’s the way to do it. I liked it better.”
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