Wednesday, March 24, 2010
East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival
(Charleston, SC) – Calling paddlers of all ages and skill levels!
Immerse yourself in the technique, hands-on experience, history and fun of canoeing and kayaking at the 20th Annual East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival (ECCKF). One of the premier paddlesport events on the Atlantic Coast, the festival will be held at James Island County Park on April 16-18, 2010.
Each year ECCKF brings together paddling enthusiasts of all levels with world-renowned instructors and equipment manufacturers. The action-packed festival features a multitude of on-water classes, lectures and demonstrations directed to the novice as well as the experienced paddler. Plus over 40 commercial exhibitors will be on-hand to give you a chance to try the latest equipment before you buy.
The heart of the festival is the simultaneous running of four classrooms throughout the three-day event. Refine your skills in a master class presented by many of the paddling world’s leading experts. Learn new strokes, rescues or rolls with expert instruction. Meet other knowledgeable paddle sport enthusiasts. A wide variety of topics include slide shows of exotic paddling locations, how-to sessions on navigation, selecting or repairing equipment, safety and preparing gourmet cuisine fresh from your dry bag.
A family-friendly weekend, children are welcome to the festival and are free with a paying adult. Learn how to paddle as a family in clinics, or register young paddlers in the full and half-day canoe and kayak camps (ages 6-12), featuring hands-on sessions, nature walks, crafts and more. Always a spectator favorite, families are invited to compete in a cardboard canoe race on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
New this year will be a free interactive presentation by adventure filmmaker and expedition kayaker Bryan Smith on Thursday, April 15 at James Island County Park. Join Smith for an inspirational and entertaining multi-media show of the first sea kayaking exploration of the Butze Tidal Rapids in northern British Columbia. On assignment for National Geographic Magazine, Smith captured some innovative and exciting kayaking footage, which will be presented on the big screen at 8 p.m. Admission to the presentation is free. Park admission is $1 per person; Gold Pass holders and those 2 years and younger are free.
Offering recreational and instructional programs for paddlers of all abilities and creating an inclusive paddling community are both major themes of this year’s festival. On Wednesday and Thursday prior to the festival, an ACA Adaptive Paddling Workshop (pre-registration required) is being offered for paddling instructors and other individuals interested in learning how to adapt equipment and work with paddlers who have various mobility impairments. On Friday evening, renowned paddler Marcus Demuth will present the keynote address on “Circumnavigating Tierra del Fuego for Disabled Paddlers,” an expedition raising funds to support programs that introduce people with disabilities to paddlesports. In addition, the festival will offer classroom sessions on inclusive paddling initiatives, and Charleston’s very own Special Olympics Kayak Team, which has been hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission for the past three years, will be on hand at the event.
Also new for 2010 is Paddle Clean-Up Day, a volunteer service project in partnership with Charleston Waterkeeper. Paddlers and non-paddlers alike are invited to give back to the paddling community by cleaning up the waterway at Sol Legare Boat Landing. Paddlers will help clear debris by boat and walkers will help clear trash in the area on Sunday, April 18 from 4-6 p.m. Registration is free.
Make plans now to participate in this exciting event! Come meet your paddling peers throughout the weekend and enjoy food, beverages, music and of course, canoeing and kayaking! And visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to stay overnight at the park’s campsites.
For just the $1 per person admission to the park, visitors can come to James Island County Park and enjoy the sights, sounds and shopping at the festival. Registration packages (and the opportunity to attend classes and test paddle boats) start at $15 and range from sampler passes to full-weekend passes – perfect for all levels and abilities! Children 17 and under are admitted free with an accompanying adult registration. Consider staying on site at James Island County Park’s campsites. For more information, a daily ECCKF schedule and to register call (843) 795-4FUN or visit our website at www.ccprc.com/ecckf.