NORTHCREEK - Despite the flooding that struck the local region this week, the high river level will make for an exciting White Water Derby weekend. The 54th derby rolls into town Saturday, May 7 and racers are looking forward to big water, according to derby chair Kate Nightingale.
Nightingale marked her first year at the helm of the historical event last year and continued her leadership roll this year.
She attributes much of last year's success to continued support from past planners Peter and Diana Burns. They turned over responsibilities for planning the weekend to her last year, but did not wash their hands of the event entirely. They were seen around town, volunteering their time and expertise all weekend.
Nightingale is confident that because of the dedication from numerous volunteers, the derby will be a success.
"The volunteers really make it happen," said Nightingale. "Whether it is paddlers running sweep on the river, or those who help to stuff competitor welcome bags the week prior to the event, they all contribute greatly to the success of the weekend."
Last year birthed a relationship between the Whitewater Derby and the 1st Annual Adirondack Adventure Festival sponsored by the Gore Mountain Regional Chamber of Commerce. The partnership seemed to be a natural one and worked well, according to Nightingale. The partnership will continue this year as the 2nd Annual Adirondack Adventure Festival will kick-off their events Friday, May 6.
"The Festival attracted spectators from the race sites throughout Johnsburg onto Main Street in North Creek," said Gore Mountain Regional Chamber of Commerce president Dave Bulmer. "They were able to see what else North Creek has to offer."
The goal of the Adirondack Adventure Festival was to not only showcase the various outdoor activities available inside the Park, but to also increase foot-traffic on Main Street, according to Bulmer.
Registration for Saturday's novice and giant slalom races, as well as the Chuck Severance flat water race, will begin at 9 a.m in North River and races begin at 11 a.m. Multiple classes for kayaks, covered canoes, open canoes are available.
An award party will be held at the Copperfield Inn in North Creek from 4 to 7 p.m. Live music has also been scheduled throughout North Creek Saturday night to celebrate the competitors.
Sunday's down river race starts in North Creek and runs seven miles to Riparius through several good sets of rapids, the historical sight of river logging. Registration for Sunday's race begins at 9 a.m. at the North Creek train station. Awards will be presented at Riverside Park in Riparius after the race.
More information on next weekend's events, visit www.whitewaterderby.com or www.adirondackadventurefestival.com.