POSTED: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 6:30pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 9:46pm
LIVINGSTON PARISH, La (NBC33) — Livingston Parish is getting ready 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.
This year's event has been breaking all kinds of records with over 7,000 people expected to hit the waterways in the parish.
The poker run starts Saturday, May 4 in the 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 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.
NBC33 met one group that has been coming for over twenty years. 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.
Spurlock has been trucking 'Weakest Moment' to the Tickfaw 200 from Texas for the past two decades ago.
"You can have fun and feel good about it because you know the money goes to good use,” noted Spurlock.
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.
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," 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 hit the water this weekend.
"There are boats from to $2 million, 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.
“We don’t have any set times to be anywhere,” stated Harrison.
People started arriving as early as Wednesday at the Blood River Landing in Springfield where the event is hosted.
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.
Between the RV's and the fuel the boats, over 10,000 gallons of gas is expected to be pumped.
"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 $3 million impact to the communities in Livingston and Tangipahoa Parish's.