Paddle & Pedal at the Point
Event hopes to promote non-profit Kentucky RIVERKEEPER
Thursday, June 12, 2014 11:00 AM
Kayak and canoe racers plan a journey down the Kentucky River, while bike riders pedal their way throughout Carrollton this weekend.
The first Paddle & Pedal at the Point, a Waterkeeper Alliance Splash Series event which is presented nationally by Toyota, will be held Saturday. The paddle and pedal events will begin around 8 a.m. with the other family-friendly activities going on throughout the day.
The event will help to promote the area's water trails and benefit the Kentucky RIVERKEEPER, a non-profit organization that helps to educate and monitor pollution in the Kentucky River, local organizer Brent Leite said.
The 28.5-mile "paddle" portion of the event - a trip down the Kentucky River in canoes or kayaks - will begin in Gratz. Registration will take place at the Gratz boat ramp in Owen County around 7:30 a.m. and a light breakfast will be provided by News Cafe.
Registration - which includes a t-shirt - is $100 for the 28.5-mile kayak and canoe race. The fee includes kayak and paddle rental, camping, breakfast and shuttle. Registration is $75 for racers using their own kayak or canoe.
The 28.5-mile trip isn't for people new to watersports or just thinking about trying out a canoe or kayak.
"This should not be for beginners," Leite said.
Racers from throughout Kentucky and other states are expected to compete for the best times, and the 28.5-mile trip might take racers as few as four to five hours to complete, he said.
Participants will have until 6 p.m. to finish the 28.5-mile event before safety crews pick up any racers left on the river.
Shuttles will be provided to take racers back to retrieve their vehicles in Gratz after the race.
Other racers hoping for a shorter trip on the Kentucky River will be able to take to the water in a 4-mile "fun run" race later in the day. Fun run racers will launch from Point Park in Carrollton, with participants traveling two miles up the Kentucky River before turning around.
Registration will begin around noon for the fun run races. The four-mile race registration is $35, which includes kayak and paddle rentals. Racers with their own kayak or canoe may register for $25.
The shorter paddle races are expected to be from noon until 5 p.m. with racers competing against the best times, Leite said.
Participants in both paddling events must be 18 years old or older to compete in the race. Anyone under the age of 18 must have a guardian go along during the race, Leite said. Racers also must adhere to all boating laws during the events.
The 20-mile "pedal" portion of the event will include a bicycle course through Carrollton. Registration for the family-friendly bike ride will begin around 8 a.m. and has a $20 registration fee, Leite said.
The course will be marked for riders the day of the event, and a safety vehicle will be along the route for riders needing assistance.
Other festival activities also will be happening at Point Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Children's activities, fishing, food vendors, live music and other events will be available, and an arts and crafts activity also will be taking place at the Carroll County Public Library, 136 Court St., from 1 to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the event.
A ribbon-cutting for Carrollton's new Riverwalk will take place at 3 p.m. with local officials and state dignitaries on hand for the event. A separate ribbon-cutting is also expected to take place at Lock #1 to help kick off work planned on the river lock and dam system near Carrollton.
Racers and riders may pre-register for Paddle & Pedal at the Point races by calling the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce at (502) 732-7035 or by emailing Bob Yoder at firstname.lastname@example.org.