The 2014 World Championship Wanigan Race

Wanigan – “The Chuck Wagon of the river”

Click here to download the 2014 Captain’s Pack 
(includes rules, entry forms & info)

The annual World Championship Wanigan Race is really something special and it takes place on Saturday of the Waterways Festival.  Back in the great days when Cheboygan was the logging capital of the north in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, or so the story goes, lumbermen would strap logs together and make a cooking raft to gather on and eat their hot meals. This Cheboygan Jaycees sponsored race keeps the tradition alive as teams of up to six from all over compete with their versions of a “Wanigan.”

From the Highway 33 Bridge, down the Cheboygan River to the Lincoln Street Bridge; the teams paddle for glory while cooking chili and keeping it at a boil!

Interested in joining the fun? Contact the Cheboygan Jaycees or the Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce and we’ll provide the details, the sign up forms, and raft specifications; or better yet, just download the 2014 Wanigan Captain’s Pack.

NOTICE: All spectators viewing from the Cheboygan Dam area or any DNR park areas must have proper permits.

This year trophies and plaques will be awarded for the following

Best Times:

  • First Place – $500 + Trophy
  • Second Place – $250 + Trophy
  • Third Place – $100 + Trophy

The “Cordwood Johnson” Award

  • Best Chili
  • To win this award, raft cooks must enter their chili into a blind taste test at the awards ceremony following the race; judged by all raft captains.

The “Senior Discount” Award

  • Fastest time
  • All team members must be over the age of 50 and present proof of age.

“Most Spirited” Award

  • Judged by committee on team spirit, loudest cheers, team uniforms, unique gimmick, etc. Participation in Waterways Parade a plus, but not required.
  • Return of Entry Fees + Award

Best Sponsored Raft Award

  • Judged by committee based on branding of sponsor, team dress and marketing of sponsor. Participation in Waterways Parade is required.

“Barely Made It” Award 

  • Judged by committee taking slowest race time OR the most issues during the race.

For more information please email Jaycees Chairperson, Nate King at