Red Bull Flugtag makes a big splash off the shore of Veterans Park in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A unique event made a big splash into Lake Michigan on Saturday, July 16.
Red Bull Flugtag made its Milwaukee debut at Veterans Park.
This is the 30th year of Red Bull Flugtag. The event has been held in dozens of cities all over the world, with Milwaukee now joining the long list.
Thousands made their way to Veterans Park to watch teams launch homemade flying machines off a 27-foot ramp, called the "Flight Deck," landing straight into the lake.
"This is basically like we're looking at 1910's, when the Wright brothers tried to take off and fly. I mean this is basically the evolution of the flight, how can you get any better than that?," said spectator, Britt Gotchalk.
The unique and crafty event was a first-time experience for many Wisconsinites.
"I had no clue this existed, then one of my teammates came up to me and asked if I wanted to throw stuff in Lake Michigan for fun. and of course, I couldn't say no," said Josh turner, a competitor with team "Cheese Headz."
34 teams competed Saturday, showing off their human-powered, manmade aircrafts that took months of preparation.
"We worked really hard on this, spent a lot of time and some money on this, and it all paid off pretty good," said Tommy Schram with the 2nd place team, "Farmers Unincorporated."
Teams are judged on costumes and presentation, pre-flight skits, and how far the craft can fly before hitting the water.
Each competitor ends up jumping - or falling - into Lake Michigan.
"It was terrifying. Like, the fall just kept on going. There were three times during the way down where I felt like I should have been in the water, but I just wasn't," said Turner.
The big winners flew their craft 66 feet. The team, called "Flight For Your Right To Party," was made up of dads from the Milwaukee suburbs, sporting a Viking theme.
The event was a huge debut for Milwaukee.
Event organizers were expecting 40,000 spectators, and they believe the crowd exceeded that projection.