Deien and Leven

Audrey Deien and Ella Leven won the Titanic Award in the 2019 Cardboard Boat Races at the Hannibal Aquatic Center

Hannibal youngsters can begin to hoard boxes as they prepare to take part in this summer’s Cardboard Boat Races.

The fifth Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department Cardboard Boat races will be June 26 at the Hannibal Aquatic Center.  Last year, the Hannibal Aquatic Center didn’t open as an abundance of caution during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Registration deadline for the Cardboard Boat Races is June 18.

Every year, youngsters team up to build their best cardboard boat and attempt to ride in their boats for as long as possible before the boat sinks. Boaters are tasked with building a functional craft with only cardboard and duct tape.

Jenna McDonald, aquatics director at the Hannibal Aquatics Center, said, that many youngsters use the project as a learning experience. “There’s a lot of teamwork and problem-solving involved,” she said.

Boat check-in is 9 a.m. June 26, with the first launch at 10 a.m.

Each boat must have two passengers, ages 6-16 and the entire boat and oars must be made of cardboard.  Rules are on the hannibalparks website and available at the HPR office, 320 Broadway.

Trophies will be awarded to winners in the following categories:

  • Fastest Boat
  • Titanic Award
  • Best Decorated
  • Can’t Believe It’s Cardboard

McDonald said the event is always greatly anticipated. “Our lifeguards really enjoy seeing the creativity and taking part in the contest,” she said. The lifeguards help participants get into the boats and make sure they make it safely to the other side, while also serving as judges for the contests.