Livingston Parish, La (FOX44) — Livingston Parish is getting for an event that could bring in thousands. It’s called the Tickfaw 200 and it’s a poker run that’s been around for 23 years.
But this year it's breaking all kinds of records with over 7,000 people expected to hit the waterways in the parish.
The poker run starts Saturday morning and runs for two full days. Boaters are docked up and down the Tickfaw River as far as New Orleans.
All participants pay 200 dollars to participate and have to stop at five places along the route. At each stop they get a card that will make up a five card hand. The winner of the poker hand gets 1,200 dollars.
Poker runs take place all across the nation, especially in the south. But the Tickfaw 200 is unlike many other runs which are why organizers say its drawing more and more people each year.
NBC33 met one group of people who have been coming for over twenty years, and they say this is a weekend they look forward to each year.
"We named it ‘Weak Moment’ because we got drunk at the boat show and bought it," said Houston native, Curtis Spurlock about his boat.
Curtis Spurlock has been trucking 'Weakest Moment' to the Tickfaw 200 from Texas since that day two decades ago.
"You can have fun and feel good about it because you know the money goes to good use,” noted Spurlock.
And over the years he got his neighbors to tag along as well.
"It's just an absolutely fun weekend but for a very good cause," said Houston native, Sam Hartman.
That's right, Sandy, Curtis and a few others come to Tickfaw every year which is an event that's not only a great time but a time to give back.
“This year it stays on the water everything we do stays for water safety," said Tickfaw 200’s Vice President, Casey Harrison.
The profits will go to the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office to help with anything they need on the water.
"It's a good feeling for us to contribute here because we know in our own home in our community when we have fundraiser and activities," noted Hartman.
And that community in Houston is not the only group of people from out of town. There will be over 7,000 people from near and far that will be hitting the water this weekend.
"There are boats from to 2 million dollars, and then there is a guy out in his bathtub," said Harrison.
And there's one main reason this poker run recently started getting some special attention. “It kind of caught on it’s a whole lot different than any other poker run in the country we don’t have any set times to be anywhere,” stated Harrison.
So Curtis, Sandy and their whole crew can sit back relax and enjoy a weekend getaway on the water, here in south Louisiana. "Last year we had a lot of rain and still has fun," said Hartman.
People started arriving as early as Wednesday at the Blood River Landing in Springfield where the event is hosted.
The thousands of people coming into Livingston Parish will mean big bucks for local businesses this weekend.
Between the RV's and the fuel the boats, over 10,000 gallons of gas is expected to be pumped.
All of the hotels from Denham Springs down to Hammond are booked. And restaurants will be seeing an influx of people from Tickfaw all weekend.
"You know like the gas station owners they will see their revenues go up because you will see them buy a lot of fuel all the nick naps and snacks people need,” said Livingston Parish President, Layton Ricks. “The local restaurants will see an increase too. Truly from Denham springs to Hammond they will see an increase because people come from everywhere.”
The parish expects a three million dollar impact to the communities in Livingston and Tangipahoa Parish's.