Paddle the Canal Festival returns to the downtown waterways

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Have you ever just felt like racing through the Big Spring Park waterways? Well here is your chance! The urban kayaking event Paddle the Canal Festival 2019, hosted by Downtown Huntsville Inc. and Redstone Federal Credit Union, is returning on April 20.

Registration is still open and this year, all RFCU members get free access to General Paddling.

You can sign up to compete in the Elite Paddle group (complete with chip-timing and awards) or the General Paddle group and have some fun on the water! You can find all the registration details here.

If getting wet isn't your thing, spectators are welcome to cheer and enjoy the festival atmosphere with live music, food trucks, vendors and an open entertainment district.

Brown Bear LLC Canoe and Kayak is providing single-person kayaks for this event so you don't have to transport yours unless you want to!

If you are doing the RFCU General Paddle for free, please bring proof of your membership and an ID. Everyone should bring an ID and we will have waivers when you check in. You will need to check in at the DHI tent to receive your bracelet before the starters will load you into kayaks.

Elite Paddlers will be chip-timed and go one-at-a-time on the course first thing Saturday morning. The cost of Elite Paddle is $25/person and, although you will only be chip-timed once, you can take up to 2 practice runs. There will be prizes for the winners of Elite Paddle.

General Paddle will immediately follow the Elite Paddle on Saturday. They will limit the number of people on the course, but you may pass other kayakers on the out-and-back stretch. A clock will be running so you can time yourself and your friends, but there won't be chip timing.

The course is the canal between the Embassy Suites and the Von Braun Center, starting at Rotary Fountain, circling Thrasher Fountain and back.

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