BAINBRIDGE — More than 1,000 canoe racers and many more spectators will ascend on Bainbridge for the 60th Annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta, scheduled for May 27 to 29. The Regatta is presented by the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce and features canoe racing all weekend long as well as many other activities at the General Clinton Park in Bainbridge.
The event is more than just a great canoe race: it also provides quality entertainment for the Tri Town area in a family friendly atmosphere. The event shortens to three days with the famous 70-mile endurance race going off on Sunday morning for the first time.
The GCCR features the longest one-day flat water canoe race in North America. This year the 70-mile race features a start location at Brookwood Point in Cooperstown. Brookwood Point, otsegolandtrust.org/places-to-explore-103/brookwood-point, is located at 6000 State Hwy 80, two miles north of the village.
The 70-mile trek on the Susquehanna River from Cooperstown to Bainbridge will take as little as seven hours for the pros, and as many as 14 hours for others. Canoeists from all over North America come to New York to challenge the flat water in a true test of endurance. The Clinton is the first leg of the prestigious Triple Crown of Canoe Racing, facebook.com/TripleCrownOfCanoeRacing.
2019 champions LaJoie/Pellerin will not be back together this year. Steve LaJoie will pair with fellow Canadian Christoph Marchand to challenge the team of Guillame Blais and Jim Pellerin, as well as local paddler Ryan Zaveral and Patrick Madden. This year’s pro classes will again pay $1,000 to win in all four C-2 classes, Men's, Men's 50+, Mixed, and Women's, thanks to 70-Mile Endurance sponsor Alpine Metal Roofing.
Friday night marks the return of the popular Coca Cola generation gaps races. Saturday brings Boy and Girl Scouts from all over the Northeast as well as other youth races. Saturday also features the Cooperstown Brewing Co. Grand Prix relay races from Oneonta, as well as a 12-mile sprint race from the Unadilla Fishing access.
The General Clinton Park in Bainbridge is home to the finish line for all the races throughout the weekend, but is also home to an entire weekend of activities.
Entertainment starts Friday with the 5th Annual Taste of Regatta, sponsored by Pine Ridge Grocery. Many local wineries, breweries, and restaurants will be featuring their products at the Regatta. This year will also feature local food trucks.
At 6 p.m., local singers Judy Pitel, Madison Nack, and Olivia Hawkins will take the stage to showcase their talents. Aric McKown, an authentic Elvis tribute artist, returns to headline the taste. Aric packs the house with his representation of the “King” with a whole new set of your Elvis favorites.
Saturday features Kid’s Day with children’s entertainment all day, and a bicycle give away at 6 p.m., compliments of Main Event Amusements. Lilly Sill puppets, along with BJ the Clown and Co., and The Magic of Chris Wheel will take turns on the kids stage all afternoon from 1 to 5 p.m.
The Annual Dan Elwood 5k Run and Tracy Richmond Banks One-Mile Walk for Hospice will also take place at 9 a.m., sponsored by the BG Class of 1980. In addition, the General Clinton Clash Wrestling tournament in memory of Gary Seymour starts at 9 a.m. This year the event will take entries the day of the event, which should make some great competition. Signups start at 8 a.m.
The Bainbridge C of C will induct of the 9th class into the General Clinton Hall of Fame with a meet and greet at 1 p.m. and ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Contributors John Harmon and Ed Hromada, along with paddlers Mile Fremont, Andy Triebold, Bob Vincent, and John Young, will be honored for their contributions to the General Clinton Canoe Regatta.
The Jericho Arts Council, jerichoarts.com, will be raffling off the Adirondack chair and story poles painted by local artists to benefit the council. The auction will start at 5 p.m. on Saturday. This has become a great fundraiser for the JAC as well as a crowd favorite. These chairs are one of a kind, so come out and bid on your favorite. The chairs will be located on Main Street in Bainbridge until the day of the auction.
Saturday night at 6 p.m. will be a pair of Chenango County's finest. First up at 6 p.m., Nate Gross will take the stage to get ready for country artist the Beadle Brothers. Matt and Bruce will take the stage and play until 11:30 p.m. The gigantic fireworks display at 10 p.m. will be sponsored by ACCO Brands and Sidney Federal Credit Union.
Main Event Amusements, maineventamusements.com, from Syracuse, will once again produce the carnival. They will be featuring wristband ride specials all weekend long! There will also be all your favorite midway foods as well as a large craft and flea market that will be open all weekend for your shopping and dining pleasure.
The Regatta Music Festival starts Sunday at 1 p.m. on the Budweiser bandstand. Live music will play until 11:30 p.m. Country favorites Sundown will open the festival with all your favorites, old and new. Woodshed Prophets will follow with their own blend of originals as well as your favorite covers.
Closing this year’s festival is local Wreckless Marci from Binghamton. They bring their own blend of Classic rock as well today's rock covers. They will play until the fireworks, then return to play until the closure of the event.
During the music festival a cornhole tournament will also take place, sponsored by Newbauer Construction and Tri County Cornhole. You can sign up day of the event at noon, with first bags being tossed at 1 p.m.
Sunday will feature the Alpine Metal Roofing 70-mile Endurance race. The race will begin at 6 a.m. at Brookwood Point, not Lakefront Park, in Cooperstown and will finish in Bainbridge, with the first canoes coming in at approximately 2 p.m.
You can tune to WCDO FM101/AM1490 for the live broadcast all day. This year WCDO will be streaming live online for everyone all over the world to hear. The broadcast will provide updates at many points on the river. Go to wcdosports.com and click on "Listen Live" to get up to the minute results and finish line interviews.
Admission to the park is just $10 per carload Saturday and Sunday. Friday Parking admission is free, compliments of Sidney Federal Credit Union.
The Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all our loyal sponsors – Alpine Metal Roofing, Upturn Industries, Cooperstown Brewing Company, NBT Bank, ACCO Brands, Northway Brewing Co., SFCU, Price Chopper, Northern Eagle Beverages, Coca-Cola, Unadilla Laminated Products, Coughlin and Gerhart, Plexicomm, Catskill Shed Co. , WCDO AM/FM, Pine Ridge Grocery, Bassett Healthcare, John’s Garage, Amphenol Corp, and Commerce Chenango.
Information on directions, hours, event info, race entries, and any other information is available on our website www.canoeregatta.org or visit Facebook at facebook.com/pages/General-Clinton-Canoe-Regatta/268406529888510.
The Bainbridge C of C is a 501-6c not-for-profit organization, which supports and promotes commerce in Bainbridge as well as the Tri Town region. This event helps support General Clinton Park as well as many other local activities.
-Information provided by the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce