Archived Story

Grab your paddles for free SunFest canoe race

Published 11:23am Friday, July 5, 2013

Kayakers and canoe enthusiasts alike can have a chance to paddle head-to-head during SunFest.

The free race will be held July 24 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Alexander City Elks Lodge.

Organizer Lacey Howell said the course will take paddlers on a half-mile trek, starting and ending at the Elks Lodge dock.

“The whole idea behind having it at the Elks Lodge is so that when people drive over the river bridge, they will see it happening,” Howell said. “This will help promote tourism on the lake. We don’t want Lake Martin to be just a weekend destination – we want people to enjoy the lake all the time.”

While there is no cost to attend, Howell said volunteers with the Elks Lodge will be selling $5 hamburger and hotdog plates, with the proceeds all benefiting their scholarship fund.

Howell said they are still working out how boats will be put in the water in light of a steep embankment behind the Elks Lodge.

“Details will be released when they are confirmed and posted to the SunFest Canoe Race and Young Professionals Facebook pages,” Howell said.

Kids under 12 should be accompanied by an adult.

“I believe that the canoe race can turn into an annual event that people will eagerly anticipate,” Howell said. “We want all our residents and visitors to participate to help make this year’s race a success and to embrace being active on our beautiful lake.”

All participants must provide their own kayak or canoe and wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life preserver.

An overall winner will be named for both the kayaking and canoe divisions. In good fun, there will also be a Slow Poke Paddler award given to the boat that crosses the finish line last.

Howell said people have the option to race individually or on teams.

To register, visit