For Immediate Release
March 1, 2021
Contact: Debbie Gendreau, Assistant Director
647 Main Street
Bangor, ME 04401
Bangor Parks & Recreation to host 54th Annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race
BANGOR, MAINE- Registration is now open for the 54th Annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race which will be held in April, with appropriate COVID-19 precautions being taken. The race, hosted by Bangor Parks & Recreation, is held annually on the third weekend of April, and is the largest paddling event in New England and one of the largest in the country. For the first time in its history, the race was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race is a 16.5 mile race that begins in Kenduskeag Village and finishes in Downtown Bangor. Typically, the race attracts hundreds of paddlers from around New England. The 2021 race will not allow for that number of paddlers. The April 17th race will be limited to 155 boats (310 people). According to Debbie Gendreau, Assistant Director of Bangor Parks & Recreation, “Registrations are limited to a certain amount of people and boaters to accommodate CDC guidelines. Race classes has been reduced from 23 to 7, but still accommodating every type of racer”.
Those participating will be required to wear face coverings before they enter their boat, and again when they exit their boat. Race staff will give dry masks to paddlers as they exit their boat at the finish line.
The popular Six Mile Falls area will be closed to spectators this year. Spectators who watch from other locations along the stream are asked to wear masks and create a healthy environment for fellow onlookers by practicing the recommended six feet of social distancing.
While some of the traditional race day celebrations will look a little different this year, the rite of spring is important to many in the area. “What a great way to open up spring outdoor recreational activities, and to get back to some normality, by starting with the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race. It’s so exciting to be able to offer this iconic event that has happened for the last 55 years. This year being the 54th annual, due to last year being cancelled for the first time ever…due to the pandemic,” said Gendreau. An awards ceremony will be held in the same location as years past.
Due to the limited number of participants allowed in each class, early registration is important. No race day registrations will be allowed. Paddlers must register by Thursday, April 8. The registration fee is $35.00 per paddler. There will be seven classes this year. Start times will be staggered based on class. Paddlers may not enter the streamside waiting area until 20 minutes prior to their designated start time.
1. Open Class (For teams of 3 or more canoeists or a craft not classified as a canoe or kayak) Race Time: 8:30 AM
2. K-1 / Kayak 1 Person (any length) Race Time: 8:30 AM
3. C-2 Experienced / Canoe 2 Person (any length) Race Time: 9:00 AM
4. C-2 Mix / Canoe 2 Person (1 man / 1 woman, any length) Race Time: 9:00 AM
5. K-1 Short / Kayak 1 Person (13’4” or under) Race Time: 9:30 AM
6. C-2 Short / Canoe 2 Person (up to 16’6”) Race Time: 9:30 AM
7. C-2 Recreation / Canoe 2 Person (any length) Race Time: 10:00 AM
Those interested in participating can find race rules and registration details at Bangorparksandrec.com. Racers will pick up their bibs, sticker, and goody bag at the Parks and Recreation Center (647 Main Street in Bangor) the week of April 12-16 during normal business hours (8:00 am-4:30 pm).
The City of Bangor, Maine is a service center community of 33,039 residents and is the county seat of Penobscot County. Bangor is the major commercial and cultural center for much of northern and eastern Maine. The City is an Equal Opportunity Employer and service provider. For more information on City projects and news, see bangormaine.gov.