OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s a busy weekend down at Riversport OKC as it plays host to athletes from across the world.

From elite international Paddlesport athletes to crafty rafts on the rapids – you won’t want to miss it.

From the strength of paddleboard athletes – to the strength of the rushing rapids – world-class – and maybe a bit wacky – talent is on full-display at Riversport OKC.

“We’re focused on time, and we also have to do a like a skit for everyone and just the creativity of building our boat,” said Steven Kilburn, an OKC resident and member of Team River Runner – a veteran’s organization that will participate in the Red Bull Rapids race.

It’s the first time it’s ever been held in the U.S.A.

All participants will be using rafts they’ve made on their own.

“We modeled it off of the Higgins boat, which is the landing craft they used for the beaches of Normandy,” said Jordan Howie, a fellow member of Team River Runner. 

Down at the Boathouse District, Riversport is also hosting the World Paddlesports Festival – including the Super Cup and World Cup events.

Riversport had six months to prepare for the events – after they were moved from Russia to OKC in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

“When we got the call, we said yes, because this is a really big deal to have, you know, literally the eyes of the world, the paddle sports world here on Oklahoma City and not only that, but I think it’s the Oklahoma standard that we’re willing to step up and help out in situations like this that occur,” said Mike Knopp, Executive Director of Riversport.

The Red Bull Rapids race will take place Saturday at noon.

The Paddlesports Festival runs Friday through Sunday.

Admission is free.