The ninth annual Northwest Paddling Festival will be held at Lake Sammamish State Park on Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11.
Organizers say the festival is the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.
During the two-day celebration of paddle sports, attendees can demo boats, take kayak tours and SUP yoga classes, attend seminars and check out gear from the more than 60 paddle sports businesses.
Free seminars are offered throughout the day on Saturday and are for all experience levels. Seminars for 2019 include Sea Kayak Camping 101, Dressing for Paddle Sports, Choosing the Right Kayak, Choosing the Right Paddle, Kayak Fishing, Protecting and Preserving Puget Sound, Kayaking the Fjords of Norway, and Paddle Camping the Salish Sea.
A complete schedule and seminar descriptions are available online at www.northwestpaddlingfestival.com.
There are also kayaking classes. The free Intro to Kayaking Part 1 classes are available first come first served as spots last, with at least one class departing each hour. The more advanced Intro to Kayaking Part 2 classes are at 4 p.m. on Friday ,and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday. Those classes cost $30. Participants can register in advance online at northwestpaddlingfestival.com/intro-to-kayaking/.
Children can take part in sand castle building on the beach, corn hole and face painting. Kids 8 years and older can kayak in a single, or double up with their parents. Even the youngest of paddlers can join in the fun testing out the Aqua Paddler paddle boats.
The event and seminars are free. There is a fee of $10 to demo canoes, kayaks and SUPs. Those who register for the paddling challenge will receive a wrist band good for the whole day of demos.
The Northwest Paddling Challenge will be at 10:30 a.m. on May 11.
The spectator-friendly race features a six-mile course of kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders and outriggers in a three-lap race along the shores. There will also be a two-mile course. The cost to register is $35 and includes a competitor race T-shirt and a wrist band for on-water demos during the remainder of the event. Pre-registration is available online at www.northwestpaddlingfestival.com or on the day of the event.