Raging Rivers adds sea lion show as River Road businesses prepare for hopeful summer


GRAFTON, Ill. – It might be cold outside, but the folks at Raging Rivers Waterpark are planning for warmer days ahead. This summer, humans won’t be the only ones making waves there.

“You wouldn’t typically see a sea lion show along the Great River Road. You’d typically see that in Florida at a major amusement park,” says Cory Jobe, President and CEO of the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau.

Yes, sea lions! Sea Lion Splash will be coming to the water park in June. The traveling show features dancing and acrobatics while also teaching sea lion conservation.

“New ownership here, trying new things to bring new consumers and travelers into the region,” says Jobe.

May businesses from Alton to Grafton will be pinning hopes on summer warmth and vaccinated visitors making a return to the region.

“I think people will still be cautious. But people are ready to get out. The pent-up demand we saw experienced last summer, I think it will be twice as big this summer.”

Visitors flocked to outdoor places like Pere Marquette State Park during lockdowns in 2020. This summer, officials hope things like that Grafton Sky Tour at Aerie’s Winery and sea lions and brand-new slides at Raging Rivers bring those folks back. 

“A lot of good product and a lot of good people ready to welcome visitors to the region,” says Jobe.

Sea Lion Splash will be at Raging Rivers Waterpark from June 19 through 27, 2021, and is included with park admission. Raging Rivers fans can now purchase season passes. Holiday pricing has been extended through Jan. 31.

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