Urban kayaking, friendly competition, entertainment, giveaways, and food—all of these things will be coming together soon in Big Spring Park for the Paddle the Canal Festival hosted by Downtown Huntsville, Inc.!
On April 22nd and 23rd, the canal between the Von Braun Center and Embassy Suites will be the showground for the city’s first-ever timed kayak and canoe races. Participants can choose to enter into one of three categories: Expert, Novice, or Costume. Paddlers will be chip-timed electronically and teams of two and four will be ranked per the sum of all team members.
After racers have a go around the course, they can join the rest of the crowd to enjoy giveaways from Redstone Federal Credit Union, souvenir booths, and free entertainment and activities.
There will also be plenty of food trucks to choose from, including Huntsville favorites like:
- Angel’s Island Coffee
- Beast Mode
- House of Kabob
- Little Red Lunchbox
- Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream
- Pearl Asian Cuisine
- The Perfect Pucker
- Shiver Shaved Ice
- What’s Popp’N
Don’t have a kayak to participate?
No problem! The North Alabama Canoe and Kayak Club will have on-site rentals available for $5 for both days (use cash). But, of course, you are free to bring your own to the event.
On Friday evening, there will be a drop-off area in Paddler’s Park for your kayaks and canoes. And don’t worry! Downtown Huntsville Inc. has hired overnight security to monitor them for both nights.
Are you part of the Expert, Novice, or Costume category?
If you’re an expert paddler who loves the thrill of competition, you will be the first to race. All participants in the Expert category will have one chip-timed run of the course. It’s expected that these runs will each take 4 minutes or less.
Novice paddlers will follow once the Expert category is complete. You will also have one chip-timed run and will share the course during your run with one other racer who will be released when you are approximately half way through the course.
And finally, the Costume category will close out the races on the 22nd. This group of participants will complete an untimed run of the course and instead be reviewed by a panel of third-party judges. Expect to share the course in 30-second increments with others in this category.
Races will begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 22nd with the Expert category and will have a rolling schedule.
Once all of the races have been completed, participants can complete two additional untimed runs on the canal as a “free paddle” run. Racing will be completed by Saturday evening.
Registrants are welcome to return on Sunday, April 23rd for open paddle time between 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
This brand-new event will take place in beautiful Big Spring Park in Downtown Huntsville. The start-line area is called Paddler’s Park and is located behind the South Hall of the Von Braun Center.
Here’s the address:
Big Spring Park Canal – Downtown Huntsville
800 Monroe St. SW
Huntsville, AL 35801
The cost to compete is $30 for individuals, $50 for teams of two, and $95 for teams of four.
Your registration includes an event t-shirt, the guarantee of three course runs, and access to the private Paddler’s Park event area.
Members of Redstone Federal Credit Union are eligible for an exclusive 10% discount and can get more information here.
Purchasing your tickets for the event is simple. Just click here to register as an individual or team. But remember, tickets are going fast—very fast!
Do you plan on participating this year? Comment below and let us know!
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CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP