Oswego, N.Y. - Paddlers of all ages and abilities have a chance to paddle the locks on the Oswego River Canal Saturday, June 21, in the Oswego "Rock the Locks" Paddlefest. The event encourages kayakers and canoeists to enjoy and appreciate the unique beauty of the historic Oswego River, followed by food and music along the canal in Oswego.
"Paddlers can choose to do the full 10.3-mile course from Fulton to Oswego, or a shorter 4.2-mile course from Minetto to Oswego," said Jake Mulcahey, Paddlefest chairman. "Paddlefest is designed to be a fun, community event. A portion of the money raised will be donated to the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau for activities that support youth and families in Oswego County."
Parking and sign-in begin at 7 a.m. in Fulton, with an 8 a.m. launch from Indian Point Landing just north of the city on Route 481.
From Minetto, paddlers will launch at 10 a.m. from Riverview Park on Route 48. Sign-in begins at 9 a.m. The group will continue to Lock 8 in Oswego, traveling through four locks of the historic Oswego River Canal along the way.
Following the paddle, "Rock the Locks" begins at noon at the Lock 7 park with music by popular local talents Dos Locos and John McConnell. A variety of food vendors will be on hand, with children's games and other activities running until 5 p.m.
Paddlers and spectators have a chance to win a new Perception Prodigy 12 kayak valued at $800. The kayak package comes with a paddle and personal flotation device and is donated by Benjamin Turner of Murdock Bicycles and Sports. The drawing will take place Saturday, June 21 at Rock the Locks. The 12-foot Prodigy weighs 53 pounds and is designed for user-friendly comfort with a water-tight storage compartment to carry gear.
Tickets are $5 each or three for $10 and are available at Murdock's and from members of the organizing committee.
Pre-registration for Paddlefest is $25 for canoes and $20 for kayaks, and includes a meal voucher for food from a Rock the Locks vendor. Additional meal tickets may be purchased at the event.
A free shuttle bus will take paddlers from Lock 8 back to Minetto and Fulton, where they can pick up their vehicles when the event is over. River Run Kayaks will transport kayaks and canoes back to Minetto and Fulton for $5 per boat.
Single and tandem kayak rentals are available at a discounted rate for Paddlefest through River Run Kayaks. Reservations for rentals must be made in advance. For details contact Rich Walberger at 315-593-9895, email Riverrunkayak@gmail.com
Paddlers may pre-register online at www.ezracereg.com or register beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, June 21 at Indian Point Landing in Fulton, and 8 a.m. at Riverview Park in Minetto. Registration on June 21 will be $30 per canoe and $25 per kayak.
Rock the Locks Paddlefest is sponsored by Pinnacle Builders USA Inc., River Run Kayaks, Cre8 Studios, Murdock's Bicycles and Sports, Chase Enterprises, the Fitzgibbons Agency and the Oswego County Sunset Group, with support from the American Canoe Association, NYS Canal Corporation, ARC of Oswego County, Minetto Volunteer Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Oswego County Sheriff's Office, Oswego County Yakkers, Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Oswego County Emergency Management Office, and Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.
For more information visit www.oswegopaddlefest.com.
For accommodations and visitor information in Oswego County, go to www.visitoswegocounty.com.
Paddlers will have a chance to paddle through the locks of the Oswego River Canal between Fulton and Oswego at Paddlefest Saturday, June 21. The Rock the Locks portion of the event begins at noon near Lock 7 with music by Dos Locos and other musicians, food and vendors. (Photo by Dick Drosse.)