NORTH CREEK - The streets of downtown North Creek were buzzing with activity Saturday night as the 53rd annual Whitewater Derby, augmented by the new Adirondack Adventure Festival, drew crowds that filled the hamlet.
Restaurants and bars on Main Street were packed even after the races concluded. The historic, nationally known river-racing event attracted substantially more participants than last year.
Prevailing temperatures rose significantly the week before the event and despite the chilly temperatures of the Hudson River, the weather was perfect for paddling.
"The weekend went great," Derby coordinator Katie Nightingale said. "It's encouraging that we were up about 50 participants from last year's races."
This year launched a relationship between the Whitewater Derby and the 1st Annual Adirondack Adventure Festival sponsored by the Gore Mountain Regional Chamber of Commerce. The the partnership seemed to be a natural one and worked well, according to Nightingale.
In between races, spectators had the opportunity to learn the tricks of fly fishing or take a scenic bike ride through the trails of North River and much more.
"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, Bulmer said.