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First-ever “Argo Armada” boat race to draw crowds in downtown Great Falls

Posted at 9:35 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 12:57:52-04

GREAT FALLS — The University of Providence will take over Central Avenue in Great Falls for the first-ever Uptown Goes Downtown event on Sept. 22. With it, comes a one-of-a-kind competition.

The “Argo Armada” boat race features homemade push carts that will race two-by-two down Central in pursuit of one of two prizes. The Fastest Boat prize will be given to the team with the top time, and the Best in Show award will be handed out to the team with the best design and costumes.

The idea came from Argo lacrosse coach Fred Boekel, who was inspired by the popular “coffin races” held in Manitou Springs, Colorado every October. He pitched the idea to Providence student affairs, and dean of students Jake Clark realized the Uptown Goes Downtown event was the perfect time to put the plan in action.

“We’re hoping for about a dozen boats from within the campus,” Jake said. “We want to keep promoting this over the course of the next year so that businesses and other local organizations get involved, so it becomes a huge community event, something different for Great Falls.”

The “boats” will have one driver inside the cart with four pushers providing the horsepower. The Uptown Goes Downtown block party begins at 4 p.m. on Central Avenue with races beginning at 5:15 p.m.

Race entry registration forms are due by Sept. 5. To enter a boat or for more information, contact Emily Merrill in the Providence student affairs office at 406-791-5215 or