The River Rafting is a well-known and publicly loved event arranged by students from Uppsala Union of Engineering and Science The River Rafting has a very special place in Uppsala's celebration of Valborg. It started as a fun bet between the students Anders Ahnesjö and Carl-Johan Hansson at Valborg the year of 1975, if they could run down the river in a raft. The prize in this bet was a sandwich and hot chocolate. Today it is an event that engages over 700 people to build rafts and arrange this huge happening, directed by Uppsala Union of Engineering and Science students. In the morning of Valborg, the start signal goes off and spectacular and colourful rafts make their way down Fyrisån to the jubilance of thousands of viewers of all ages. The starting signal goes off at 10.00, so be ready!
When the starting signal goes off at 10:00 a.m. during Valborg, the River Rafting begins. The starting area is at Eddaspången, where 120 colorful rafts are lined up and ready for the rafting. After the signal, the first raft is launched in Fyrisån and begins its journey down towards Islandsfallet where the finish line is. On the way there, the rafters in the raft have to get through Kvarnfallet, which is usually the challenge of the rafting. Along the river, spectators can watch the rafts go by and it is welcome to wave and say hello to the rafter. Keep in mind that it is not allowed to throw anything on the rafters. Due to the large crowds along the Fyrisån, it is important to cross the bridges without stopping to ensure accessibility for both visitors and security personnel.
The construction site at the river festival is where the rafting begins. In the organized chaos on site, you can witness rafters from all corners of Uppsala as they build their crazy creations. These will later carry the rafters down the merciless waters of the Fyris river streaming through the city center.
The construction site is found on the Ångström laboratory grounds, between house 6 and 8 - the creativity found here is difficult to encounter anywhere else. A piece of plastic foam and some lumber may turn into a volcano, a house, a car, or perhaps even a sauna! There is also plenty of paint available to really make the rafts pop.
On site, 120 rafts will be built by roughly 500 people, so be prepared to spend a couple of hours during your visits - it’s a challenge in itself to leave the site and head home.
As we all know, the last week of April is the perfect start of spring time, so why not spend it with The Rafting committee and all the rafters? It doesn’t matter if you’re not rafting yourself, whoever you are very welcome to drop by and hang out. Keep in mind that this only occurs during one week in 2020, so clear the schedule and join the festivities!
The construction site is going to be open between April 20th up until the 27th between 10:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M. every day except Sunday the 23rd when the site closes at 4 P.M. Thereafter, on April 29th, every raft will be transported down to Eddaspången where the starting area is found.
So head on over to the construction site, find the best/prettiest/extravagant raft and then see whether or not the raft makes it the whole way through the waters of the Fyris river on April 30th. This is something you don’t want to miss!