Registrations are currently being accepted for the 56th annual Mid-American Canoe and Kayak Race that will be held Sunday, June 4, on the Fox River.
The historic event will feature two different lengths for paddlers to choose from – a 10-mile run starting in St. Charles and a 6-miler from Batavia – with both races finishing at McCullough Park in Aurora.
The Mid-Am is open to paddlers of all ages and abilities, featuring 11 canoe divisions, 8 kayak divisions and 1 open (non-competitive) division.
“The Mid-Am is meant for everybody – from ultra-competitive, seasoned paddlers to first-timers and young families who want to enjoy a memorable paddling experience on the Fox River,” said event director Jeff Long. “It’s a celebration of river recreation.”
A 10-mile race will begin at 9 a.m. from Mount. St. Mary Park in downtown St. Charles, with a 6-mile race starting at 10:30 a.m. from the VFW in Batavia, just south of downtown.
Boats will be staged in heats of 10 boats each and then launched individually at 15-second intervals from both start areas. Free shuttle buses for participants and spectators will run continuously from McCullough Park to both starting sites beginning at 7 a.m.
All-inclusive canoe and kayak rental packages are available for both races at discounted prices, with start area delivery and finish line pickup of rental boats included.
A riverside party for all paddlers, friends, families and spectators will take place at the finish area at McCullough Park and feature food, music, cold beer, prize drawings, local vendors and live interviews with paddlers. An awards ceremony will conclude the event, with awards for first, second and third-place finishers in each division for both races.
All registered paddlers will receive a commemorative T-shirt, goodie bag, grilled lunch with chips and drink and be eligible for prize drawings.
Visit www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org to register online. Registration forms also are available at all Park District community centers. Registration closes at noon on May 31, and day-of registration will not be available. For more information, call (630) 859-8606.