FULTON, NY – A representative from Oswego County Paddlefest approached the Fulton Common Council at its meeting on July 7.
He explained Paddlefest was scheduled to take place Saturday, July 11. The council questioned if the event would be possible with the recent water levels, as they have been high.
The representative confirmed that, after speaking with a few different people at the Canal Corporation, they ensured that the water levels would drop in time and they will be safe for all participants.
As predicted, the water levels were regular Saturday morning and Paddlefest held a successful 10-mile trek of paddlers from Fulton to Oswego.
Hundreds of people took part in the third annual Paddlefest event.
Participants launched their kayaks or canoes from either Fulton or Minetto and made their way to the Rock the Locks finish in Oswego.
Last year, Fulton saw approximately 150 people launch from the locks in route to Oswego.
This year, Paddlefest staff confirmed 475 pre-registered participants all together and expected at least 100 more to register throughout the day.
Registration included a meal voucher for any vendor at the post event celebration. Additional meal tickets were available to purchase for guests.
After completion of the paddle, Rock the Locks was held at Oswego Yacht Club Marina, where there were musical performances, food vendors, drinks, children activities and more.
First-time Paddlesfest participant Stephanie Grover took to the river as a first-time paddle boarder as well.
While most participants registered a kayak or canoe, Grover chose to use a paddleboard. She stood on a board and paddled her way down the 10-mile journey from Fulton to Oswego.
“I’ve never paddleboarded before. But, I’m excited to get out there” said Grover.
Lynn Mieczkowski was also a first-time Paddlefest participant.
“I’m feeling a little anxious. I’ve never gone as far as 10 miles but I am very excited,” Mieczkowski told Oswego County Today.
Following their long voyage on the water, both Grover and Mieczkowski said they would be back to participate in the event in the next year.
Paddlers attended Rock the Locks, which started at noon and continued until 5 p.m. and was also open to the public.
Shuttles ran from Oswego to Fulton as well as Minetto to transport participants.
Lifejackets were required for the event and it was strongly advised that participants wear sunscreen.
The event was created as a means to bring enjoyment to community members and to allow all participants and visitors to appreciate the Oswego River.