43rd Annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race Set for Saturday

Updated 6 years ago

Thrills and spills are on tap for tomorrow, as hundreds of participants take to the water for the annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race.TV 5’s Amy Erickson gives us a preview.< "it's finally springtime. The kenduskeag certainly marks that turn of the corner, whether it's official on the calendar or not, that spring is finally here."About 800 participants from around Maine and the country are ready to usher in spring with a splash Saturday at the 43rd annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race.As director of Bangor's Parks and Recreation department, Tracy Willette overseas the event.He says things are looking good. "the water is not as high as it's been over the years...but now as low either. So I think the course is going to be good for beginners as well as our expert paddlers."Those who are brave enough will travel a 16.5 mile course from Kenduskeag Village to downtown Bangor...Rescue crews will be stationed and ready at the trickier spots along the way. "we station personnel at historically dangerous spots. Like 6 mile falls...they always fall out of boats there."They'll also be standing by on the Maxfield Bridge on Valley Ave in Bangor.Thousands of spectators are expected to line the banks of the stream for a look at the action...Experts have a word of advice for those bringing little ones to take part in the excitement."make sure you keep them off the banks. We've had a lot of water and the banks can get undercut...so if they get to close to the stream, they could fall in."The race is famous for its thrills...and spills...especially at 6 Mile Falls...but safety personnel are ready to react in seconds if someone gets into trouble. "we'll throw the throw bags first. If we have to go in, we'll go in after them. We're equipped to go in and get them pulled back to shore."Willette says all paddlers..beginners or experts...should come prepared with lots of warm gear...in case you end up going for an unexpected swim. "whenever the temperatures are warm, there's a misconception that the water is equally as warm and that's not so. It's still probably only 35 to 40 degrees."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Bangor.>The race starts Saturday morning in Kenduskeag Village.Canoes and kayaks will be launched five at a time every minute starting at 8 a.m.There are still spots for folks who’d like to take part.Race day registration is from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the starting line.


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