Events are taking place all around that are fun and exciting to watch, and even better to enjoy as a participant! Here are a few that highlight both long-standing traditions and brand new reasons to go paddling!
Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium
Grand Marais, Michigan
This is a wonderful event that has for decades offered an introduction to paddling on the shore of Lake Superior. Grand Marais, Michigan is a quiet, picturesque town that welcomes long sea kayaks, as well as all other paddlecraft for classroom sessions and ‘field’ sessions on the water along unbelievably picturesque settings. Recalls one of the instructors, Dave Olson:
“My folks took me to the north shore of Lake Superior for the first time when I was about 7 years old. Towering rock cliffs, ore freighters, crystal clear water that I couldn’t see across and I was hooked. When I began sea kayaking Gitchee Gumee in 1997 I instinctively knew it was the perfect way to interact with the lake. I haven’t looked back since.”
Love Long Beach Festival
Long Beach, California
Free 2 day celebration of all things locals love about Long Beach… Art, Music, Arts and Crafts Village, Food, Farmers Market, Saturday Evening Luau, Sports… 5k Run, Swim, Paddle, Beach Volleyball, Sand Soccer, Beach Football, Yoga, Dog Events and Work Out Area. Beach Dance Party Saturday Night with a Fire Show and Burning Man. This event benefits a great Long Beach non-profit, Children Today.
Eppie’s Great Race 39
The Eppie’s Great Race®, “The World’s Oldest Triathlon®”, “The Great Race”, the “No Swim” Triathlon is by far the largest paddling event in the US. This, the first “Modern Triathlon” was held July 27, 1974 by Sacramento-area entrepreneur Eppie Johnson and has been held every year since. The race features a 5.82-mile run, a 12.5-mile bike and a 6.35-mile paddle held along the scenic American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova and Sacramento, and has become a Sacramento-area summertime tradition for elite athletes, fitness enthusiasts, friends and families.
Plaques are awarded, and participants have the option to sign up for best costume and/or body paint award. A duathlon put on by Eppie’s Great Race®, the Eppie’s Kids Duathlon, is available to area youth 4-13 years of age, as well.
67th AuSable River Canoe Marathon
Grayling to Oscoda, Michigan
North America’s Toughest, Richest Canoe Race is held to generate public exposure of the communities in the AuSable River Valley and increase awareness of the AuSable River. “The Marathon”, is a non-stop canoe race that starts at night with a thrilling LeMans-style running-start to the river in Grayling, MI, and ends 120 miles later near the shores of Lake Huron in Oscoda, MI. Contestants must navigate the narrow, winding upper stretch in total darkness, as well as stump-filled ponds and the blazing July sun in the lower stretch.
Fans cheering and routing for the teams keep the paddlers alert and gives them a boost of morale and adrenaline. The diehard spectators will follow the race from Grayling to Oscoda, and stay up all night!
47th Annual National White River Canoe Race
White River, Arkansas
The National Invitational White River Canoe Race is an adventure of over a hundred miles from the heart of the Ozark Mountains near Bull Shoals Lake to the foothills of Batesville, Arkansas.
“For many teams like the families and Scouts from Bogalusa, the White River Canoe Race has become an annual reunion in addition to a competition—a chance to renew old friendships, refresh fading memories, and experience again a seminal moment in their young lives. All in three exhausting and exhilarating days.”
Jim Morrison, Scouting, September-October 2011