The third annual Northwest Paddling Festival is a day-long celebration of paddles ports for sea kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Sunset Beach Park in Issaquah. For expert paddlers or those looking to try sea kayaking or stand-up paddling for the first time, the Northwest Paddling Festival is the place to be to get started for a summer on the water.
The festival will feature: 45-minute sea kayak tours every 15 minutes; 30-minute SUP intro on-water classes, every 15 minutes; an open-air market; and outdoor related non-profits.
Demonstrations and displays will include a "kayak camp site" demo from Washington Water Trails, dry-land stand-up paddleboard simulators, and information on how to pack a kayak and plan for kayak touring.
The festival includes the Northwest Paddling Challenge, a six-mile race for kayaks and SUPs, sponsored by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, plus a two-mile course for less-experienced racers. The entire course can be seen from the festival. Race starts at 10:30, pre-register at www.northwestpaddlingfestival.com, or at the event.
Parking is available at Lake Sammamish State Park using a Washington State Discover Pass. A one-day pass is $10 or an annual pass is available for $30. Passes can be purchased at the park entrance. Passes are also available online or at select retailers for an additional handling fee.
Access to the paddlesports market and displays is free. The guided sea kayak tour, intro to SUP classes and on-the-water sea kayaks and SUPs demos are available for a $5 registration fee. Children under the age of 12 accompanied by a paying parent or guardian are free. Tours are open to registered attendees 8 years and older.