The growing Western New York paddle community will come together at Gallagher Beach today to race - competitvely and in a friendly manner - at the first Annual Buffalo Paddle Festival.
Race registration starts at 9 a.m.; races take place in the morning and kayak, canoe and Stand Up Paddleboard demonstrations and outings take place in the afternoon, before the festival wraps up about 3 p.m.
For more information on the festival, click here.
For a map of Gallagher Beach, click here.
I've had the good fortune during the last year or so to get to know some of the paddling enthusiasts in the region, many of whom will participate in today's event.
To read more about how to plug into kayaking and canoeing in the region, take a look at this WNY Refresh cover story from last summer.
To read more about Stand Up Paddleboarding, read here about Jared Callahan's efforts to launch the sport in Buffalo last summer, and read this weekend's Refresh "In the Field" feature here on Marie Phillips and her new SUP yoga classes at Gallagher Beach and on Grand Island.
Several of the players in today's festival also own businesses, or have begun to play, on the waterfront in the Outer Harbor. Look to these folks to be among those who help shape this part of the city in the coming years. Meanwhile, stop and say hello to them today near NFTA Boat Harbor Park.
- Scott Scanlon