Blazing Paddles Water Sports Festival Starts Tomorrow in Cleveland
23 Jul, 2021
Share the River, in partnership with Cuyahoga River Safety Task Force and industrial stakeholders, is thrilled to announce the return of the Blazing Paddles Paddlefest on Saturday, July 24, where paddlers will enjoy exclusive access to the Cuyahoga River for five hours (8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) to enjoy either an 8.6-mile recreational paddle & float or one of three races (2, 5.4 and 13 miles). Paddlers will depart and recover from Cleveland Rowing Foundation and Cleveland Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf at Rivergate Park.
The unique, U-shaped Cuyahoga River is 100 miles long and flows south from its headwaters near Burton, bends in Akron, heads north through Cuyahoga Valley National Park to Cleveland before spilling into Lake Erie. The Blazing Paddles Paddlefest takes place on the last segment of the Cuyahoga River Water Trail, Ohio's 13th designated water trail.
Share the River founder Jim Ridge said, "Blazing Paddles serves as a recreational celebration of how Cleveland's Cuyahoga River has risen like a phoenix since the 1969 fire helped ignite the modern environmental movement. The Cuyahoga River now serves as an economic driver for the region, and we can't think of a better way to showcase the value of the river than to be out paddling a kayak, canoe or paddleboard on it."
Share the River recently announced the new 8.6 mile recreational paddle and float event will be named in memory of Dave Vasarhelyi, a northeast Ohio conservation hero who passed away in 2020 at the age of 53.
Blazing Paddles is also Share the River's 501(c)(3) initiative to help make Cleveland's waterfront more vibrant and colorful by providing free entry to Blazing Paddles and a free kayak rental to urban youth and their parent/guardian.
Blazing Paddles Paddlefest is presented by Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District with supporting sponsorship from the Port of Cleveland, Environmental Design Group, GOODTIME III, Collision Bend Brewing Company, Flats Forward Inc., and OHM Advisors.
After the recreational paddle and races, paddlers and media can connect with regional stakeholders during the "After Paddle" at Cleveland Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf.
Additional information and links to register for the event can be found here: http://sharetheriver.com/blazing-paddles
Share the River, a 501(c)(3) partner of Lake Erie Waterkeeper, promotes the economic social and recreational vibrancy of Cleveland's waterfront and advocates for public access to natural resources. For Cuyahoga River safety tips visit our "Know Before You Go on the Cuyahoga River" page.