Events: Ohio River Way Paddlefest

The eighth annual Paddlefest celebrates the natural splendor of the mighty Ohio with two days of ecology education, river-themed entertainment (lots of Bluegrass) and the nation's largest group paddling event. Friday features an outdoor expo for children

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The Ohio River is much more than just that big blue (OK, brown) thing we drive across to buy liquor: It’s the source of our water, a major commercial transit line and a natural wonder. The eighth annual Paddlefest celebrates the natural splendor of the mighty Ohio with two days of ecology education, river-themed entertainment (lots of Bluegrass) and the nation’s largest group paddling event.

Friday features an outdoor expo for children from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with boat rides, water sport education, games and food at Coney Island. Jake Speed & The Freddies, the Rumpke Mountain Boys and other local acts perform 3 p.m. to midnight.

Saturday’s races begin at Coney at 8:30 a.m. and end with a festival at Sawyer Point until 2:30 p.m. Amateur and professional racers pay an admission fee ($15-$30). The rest of the event is free.

Get venue details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.

Check out CityBeat's new river-themed podcast here.

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