Alcohol ban gives Labor Day float a different feel

Sep 8, 2015 12:15 PM by News Staff

Labor Day weekend is over, but the last few years just haven’t been the same for college students who are used to partying on inner tubes and rafts while floating down the Sacramento River.

The reason for the change, a temporary alcohol ban for the holiday weekend.

This year, it was easy access to the Sacramento River from the Irvine Finch Launch, a far cry from three years ago when college students came in droves to raft a 2.5 mile stretch of the river.

Law enforcement officials say just three years ago there were tens of thousands of people on the river during the Labor Day weekend, this year there was roughly 350.

Over the years, the Labor Day float became a tradition for Chico State students, marking the start of the school year.

The alcohol ban went into effect in 2013, a year after Cal Poly student Brett Olson went missing for a week before a fisherman found his body two miles south of beer can beach. Autopsy and toxicology reports say he was heavily intoxicated and used cocaine before he died.

With such little activity on the river in recent years, not as much law enforcement is needed and officials say that is saving tax payer dollars.


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