Crews clean up Columbia Park after boat races

<p>Columbia Park Cleanup</p>

Columbia Park Cleanup

The 48th annual Columbia Cup may be over, but Columbia Park is still full of activity today, as cleanup crews work to get the park back to normal.

Cleanup crews have been spending the entire day putting away tents, fences, garbage containers and trailers - basically, anything that was set up for the boat race weekend.

Crews say there's a lot of work to do, but they get the job done pretty fast.

Bobby Hansen from Kennewick Waste Management has helped clear out the garbage containers after the boat races for the past 15 years, and admits he likes to have a little fun when he works.

"It's kind of a little competition - the portaletes, we kind of have a little bit of competition to keep it interesting so we can get the stuff out of there quicker" said Hansen.

Today, dozens of cleanup crews are working to get Columbia Park back to normal, after tens of thousands of hydro fans took over the park during the weekend.

And crews are working fast.

Yesterday, the pits were packed with boats and trailers, but today, everything is almost cleared out.

Crews say over the years, they've packed up their equipment so many times, they've got the routine down.

"We usually have around six guys so it's not that hard, just time consuming. Other than that, it's pretty easy" said Jonathan Peralta, Red Door Party Rentals.

And cleanup crews aren't the only people out at the park.

Frank Griffith is searching for any valuables hydro fans may have dropped over the weekend.

Though, he hasn't been very successful so far.

"I think I've got three pennies, a dime, a dozen bottle caps, and probably 10 or 15 pull tabs" said Griffith.

Event organizers say now that the event is over, they'll take a little breather, then go over what worked and what didn't work during the weekend, then get to work on next year's races.

"It never stops. People always ask me, 'oh, you getting ready for boat races?' in June. I'm like, 'well, it's a year round process'" said Mike Denslow, Water Follies president.

And for cleanup crews, it's a process they say they're proud to be a part of - as they work behind the scenes to make sure the event carries on.

"Yeah, it's pretty exciting to work for the city of Kennewick and make sure everything runs smooth for everybody" said Hansen.

Event organizers are still going over the number of people who attended the Columbia Cup, but they estimate around 70,000 people came to the event - that's about on track with the last couple years.