BAINBRIDGE – More than 1,200 paddlers and as many as 10,000 spectators are expected in Bainbridge this weekend for the General Clinton Canoe Regatta.
Now in its 49th year, the event is sponsored annually by the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce. Initially conceived as a way of attracting tourists to the area, the regatta has grown over the years into a world championship canoeing event which attracts professional and amateur competitors from all across North America.
John Harmon has been tweaking the event since he took over as chair of the Regatta Committee three years ago, and he promises this year’s event will be better than ever.
Close to 50 canoe and kayak races will take place over the four days of competition, with the highlight being Monday’s demanding 70-mile endurance race from Cooperstown to Bainbridge. The grueling competition is the final leg of the Michelob Ultra Cup Triple Crown.
According to Harmon, thousands of spectators come to watch the race and enjoy the festivities at General Clinton Park in Bainbridge during the regatta. The family-friendly event will feature midway rides, live music, vendors, food concessions, fireworks displays and more. Admission and parking will be free on both Friday and Monday, and $7 per car-load on Saturday and Sunday.
The event will kick-off on Friday with The Generation Gap, a popular two-person adult - child race and Regatta Star, an American Idol-style karaoke contest.