Second Annual Suwannee River Paddling Festival Planned for April 4-6, 2014
Join Paddle Florida, Inc., the Florida Park Service, regional businesses and organizations in bringing the second annual Suwannee River Paddling Festival to the Suwannee River! Beautifully situated atop bluffs at the confluence of the scenic Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers, Suwannee River State Park will be home base for the 2014 festival and supported paddling options will be available on both rivers throughout the weekend.
If you prefer to rent a canoe or kayak, Suwannee Canoe Outpost, our partnering outfitter for the festival, can provide all your paddling needs. Give them a call at 386-364-4991.
Staff is working to bring together some of Paddle Florida's favorite musicians in another benefit concert on Saturday evening, with proceeds benefitting Florida Defenders of the Environment.
Florida Defenders of the Environment was founded in 1969 by Marjorie Harris Carr and a group of local activists who had come together to save the Ocklawaha River from the danger posed by the Cross Florida Barge Canal.
From its humble beginnings in the Carr family living room, Florida Defenders of the Environment has grown into one of the oldest and most well respected environmental organizations in the state of Florida. While remaining focused on the preservation, protection, and restoration of Florida’s freshwater resources, its work has expanded to encompass environmental education initiatives, and exploring the links between environmentalism and the arts.
Paddle Florida is very proud to work with Florida Defenders of the Environment, an historic organization that has worked for the past 45 years to make positive strides for our environment.
In keeping with our non-profit mission, the festival will also emphasize education about the region's water and wildlife ecology, through guest speakers, hiking, and paddling tours.
Keep an eye on this website for updates in the months ahead.
Saturday, April 5: 20 miles. Shuttle to Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park and paddle to Suwannee River State Park (Sat. night campsite)
Sunday, April 6: 12 miles. Shuttle to Madison Blue Springs on the neighboring Withlacoochee River, then paddle down the Withlacoochee back to Suwannee River State Park.
Boat and paddler shuttles provided.
Friday evening’s program at Suwannee River State Park will include a Water Expo showcasing conservation efforts, educational speakers, and local outdoor recreation vendors.
Benefit Concert* Saturday evening.
This year's concert on Saturday evening will feature some of Paddle Florida's favorite musicians: Weeds of Eden, Bing Futch, and Magda Hiller. Weeds of Eden, a Gainesville band, opens the concert with its original bio-regional music plus some folk and rock standards, Celtic tunes and filthy pirate songs. This band has been playing in North Central Florida for more than a decade and returns to the Park to show its support for Paddle Florida and its annual benefit concert. Singer/songwriter Bing Futch has made a name for himself by taking the Appalachian mountain dulcimer to electrifying extremes. He mixes African and Native American rhythms, blues, bluegrass, funk, jazz, Celtic, country & western, Middle Eastern and Latin influences with rock and pop grooves. Magda Hiller's career as a musically diverse, intelligent performing songwriter has had her sharing the stage with Vangelis at London's Royal Albert Hall and folk legend Odetta at the Ottawa Folk Festival. Saturday under a Suwannee night sky, she will entertain music lovers with her rhythmic, soul-baring, image laden, jazz style.
*Proceeds from the concert will benefit Florida Defenders of the Environment, an organization founded in 1969 by Marjorie Harris Carr and a group of local activists to save the Ocklawaha River from the danger posed by the Cross Florida Barge Canal. From its humble beginnings in the Carr family living room, Florida Defenders of the Environment has grown into one of the oldest and most well respected environmental organizations in Florida. In keeping with its mission, Paddle Florida is very proud to work with this organization to make positive strides for our environment and emphasize education about the region's water and wildlife ecology. Friday evening's program at Suwannee River State Park will include a Water Expo showcasing conservation efforts, educational speakers, and local outdoor recreation vendors.
The weekend package for the festival is $125 per person and $200 per couple, and it includes camping fees, all meals, shuttle to paddling sites, and the benefit concert. Concert-only tickets are $25 if purchased in advance, $30 if purchased at the door. The registration deadline is March 21.
Music lovers can enjoy the benefit concert for $25 (advance ticket purchased online) or $30 (purchased at the door). Festival registration fee of $125/person, $200/couple includes camping, meals and shuttle to kayak/canoe sites.(Note: register by March 21, 2014).
Want to paddle for just a day? Registration is $75/person plus $25 for shuttle service if you need it. Weekend paid participants will receive an event t-shirt, boat sticker, reusable water bottle, plus useful area trail maps and other local welcoming offers.
Register online with Ocoos.com and pay online using PayPal:
1. Register Online. We use the online service at Ocoos.com to help with Paddle Florida registrations. Click on this Festival Link to go to the online registration form at www.ocoos.com. To pay online through PayPal, come back to this page and use the PayPal buttons below.
2. Pay online with PayPal. After you register, select from the options in the drop-down menu. Then click the "Add to Cart" button to go to the Paddle Florida secure PayPal site. At PayPal, click "Continue Shopping" to return to this page where you can select additional choices.
It's safe and easy. You don't need a PayPal account.
3. If you would rather pay by check, download and print the Festival Registration Form and send it with the full amount, including your choices for concert, camping, meal plan, and shuttle service, to Paddle Florida (Suwannee Festival), PO Box 5953, Gainesville, FL 32627.
To participate in the festival as an exhibitor or sponsor (or both!), please contact Jill Lingard. Thanks for your participation and support!