Batteau Festival Sets Sail in Lynchburg

Lynchburg, VA - Despite high water and fast moving rapids, the batteaus pulled up anchor and set sail down the James River Saturday morning.

The launch was a part of the 28th annual James River Batteau Festival.

Moments before the launch, Barbieri's crew of the Clifton Lee each raised their glass in a toast to a safe trip.

Twenty Batteaus took part in this year's launch.

Over the next eight days the crews will make their way down the river to Richmond.

The festival is an event that reenacts what life was like along the James River hundreds of years ago.

Folks from all over lined the banks of the James River to witness the launch.

Many people say they appreciate the opportunity to witness a blast from the past.

"Just the history involved in seeing the way that traffic down the river use to be and brings some of the nostalgia back to the city," Daugherty said.

Participants say the water is higher than average this year. They say that makes things much easier for those who are experienced, but could be a little challenging for rookies.