Guides from the North Creek Rafting Company paddle whitewater clients down the Indian River on their way to the Hudson River.
INDIAN LAKE — The governor’s coming to town, and he’s invited everyone to his party — the first-ever Adirondack Challenge Festival July 20-22.
It began as a light-hearted challenge to fellow politicians during the State of the State address in January. It was accompanied by a promise to help boost tourism in the Adirondack region of upstate New York. Seven months later, it has blossomed into a bona fide communitywide event, one that has regionwide implications and, thanks to Empire State Development/I Love NY, has drawn plenty of media attention to our neck of the woods.
In short, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has kept his promise.
Ten months after taking an overnight rafting trip down the Indian and Hudson rivers with Wevertown’s Beaver Brook Outfitters, the governor will be in town this weekend to show more of his whitewater guts and glory on the Indian River, racing politicians in colorful rubber rafts, for bragging rights mostly.
While officials in the governor’s press office confirmed that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be racing the governor down the Hudson River in whitewater rafts on Monday, July 22, the final list of competitors was not available by press time. State Sen. Betty Little will be in a raft, according to her press man, Dan McEntee, who will join her.
During the Adirondack Challenge Festival Weekend — July 20-22 — the Chain Lakes Road will be closed for protection and special security measures for the VIP rafters.
The Indian Lake Central School cafeteria will serve as press headquarters during the festival.
The Governor’s Invitational Whitewater Race the afternoon of July 21, featuring Cuomo and other state and local elected officials on Indian River, will be open to the press only, as will the special whitewater race between Cuomo, Bloomberg and other officials and New York personalities.
The public is invited to the following events on July 21.
At 10 a.m., the Adirondack Challenge Flatwater Canoe Race will begin on Indian Lake. The nearly 15-mile race will feature more than 100 competitors from across the U.S. and Canada.
The Adirondack Challenge Festival activities at Byron Park will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Activity highlights will include:
•Taste of New York tent featuring food and drink products from Adirondacks region and New York
•Random prize drawings for rafting trips and more
•Live music featuring
•Too Tall String Band 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
•Stoney Creek Band 1-3 p.m.
•LUCID 4:30-7 p.m.
•Displays of artisan-created watercraft
•Fly fishing demonstration
•Kids activities including Bounce House, Wildlife Demonstration, Adirondack Storytelling, Wii Rafting and more
•Indian Lake townwide activities all weekend long
•Awards ceremony and viewing of highlights from whitewater races at Byron Park 3 p.m.