Whitewater Wednesday big splash for chamber

Carol Bopp of Wofford Heights arrives in time for rafting tour

Photos and story by Catherine Stachowiak

The Kernville Chamber of Commerce revived its annual Whitewater Wednesday, June 12, at Riverside Park, though the event had gone dark in recent years.  The event was a fundraiser for the chamber.

And while it looked as though this year the event might be canceled, due to lower interest, at the last day the tours booked at least 30 reservations.  According to the vice president of the chamber, Gary Ananian, the event had not been going on for so long that he supposed it kind of fell off the radar for a lot of people.

He told the Kern Valley Sun, “In 2022 Whitewater Wednesday was canceled because of the low water year.  Then in 2023 it was canceled because it was too big of a water year.  So then this year it’s like the perfect water year to do it.”

Daneya Williams from Whitewater Voyages prepares tourists for the raft tour

How the event works is rafting companies participate to help the Kernville Chamber of Commerce raise money, which in turn brings attention to the rafting industry in Kernville. 

Whitewater Voyages and Sierra South were the two outfitters running tours that day to help the chamber.  Money raised from the event goes into the chamber’s general fund, which according to Ananian is used for expenses of upkeep for the Whiskey Flat Days re-enactment encampment, the rodeo arena, office funds and other operational costs.

The chamber provided a pizza lunch to participants on the rafting tours.

Some tourists said they came over to raft from Tehachapi.  One rafting registrant said this was her second voyage. “It’s been a lot of years.  I did the Lickety Split before. I’m excited.  There’s a lot of water now. I think it’ll be just fine though,”  said Carol Bopp of Wofford Heights.