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Kayakers and their crafts line the shore of Burlington Bay near Two Harbors Saturday afternoon during the Two Harbors Kayak Festival.  2008 file photo.
Kayakers and their crafts line the shore of Burlington Bay near Two Harbors Saturday afternoon during the Two Harbors Kayak Festival. 2008 file photo.

16th annual Kayak Festival paddles up to Burlington Bay

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news Two Harbors, 55616

Two Harbors Minnesota 109 Waterfront Dr. 55616

Paddle your way to the Kayak Festival! The 16th annual Kayak Festival will be taking place on August 2-4.

Held at Burlington Bay in Two Harbors, the festival will include paddle clinics, tours, kayak instruction, sprint races and open paddling, as well as a climbing wall. The Brown Bag Fundraiser will be on Saturday, while the Kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard demos will take place throughout the weekend.

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"What makes the Kayak Festival unique is that it's a combination. It's not just races, clinics and tours. It's everything," said Stephanie Love, one of the two directors of the Kayak Festival.

In addition to the events and races, kayaks, kayak accessories and stand-up paddle boards are available to purchase at the festival.

A reception is open for all sponsors, racers, tour and clinic participants on Friday, and the supper and awards ceremony, Supper with the Paddlers, will be held at the Earthwood Inn Saturday evening.

Many different races will be offered during the weekend, in the form of sprints and marathons. Kayak sprint races and the Junior 2-Mile in the Bay race are provided for youth, while the others, such as the Great River Energy 18-Mile Marathon is available for racers ages 16 and older.

To rejuvenate yourself after paddling, food vendors will be ready to provide you with a variety of foods and beverages.

Parking, made more difficult because of the campground construction, will still be available. A meeting with the city of Two Harbors is planned for Friday to solve the parking dilemma.

"We're working on it," said Scott Neustel, the owner of Ski Hut in Duluth, "We don't anticipate any problems."

While pre-registration is not required, it is encouraged. Check-in in mandatory 15 minutes before all clinics and tours at the Burlington Bay registration tent.

Love said she hopes everyone participating in the event appreciates Lake Superior and the natural world. In addition, she said she wants paddlers to realize that kayaking is not just an extreme sport.

"Paddling can be what you make it - relaxing, or exhilarating," Love said, "It can be both."

More information about the Kayak Festival and a schedule of the events can be found at the website www.kayakfestival.org. For specific questions, contact directors Stephanie Love at (218) 391-0147 and Blake Cazier at (218) 428-5990.

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