Berlin, NH – Don’t miss the Northern Forest Heritage Park’s River Day Boat Float on Saturday, June 18th! Canoes, kayaks, motorboats, rafts and anything else that floats are all welcome! Ferg Lea from the Androscoggin Watershed Council challenged, “Let’s see how many boats we can get out to enjoy and celebrate our mighty Androscoggin! Last year, the people down river in Bethel managed to get about 22 paddle craft on the river, so it would be great to beat that as we celebrate the river.” Phoebe Backler of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail added, “And why not decorate your boat with the “Luck of the Draw” theme for the River Day festival?”
Registration costs $10 per boat, includes one free t-shirt and will take place at 8:30AM at the Nansen Wayside Park north of Berlin on Rte. 16. Participants can also register online at www.androscogginwatershed.org and clicking on events. Motor boats will depart at 10:00 AM and paddle boats will follow at 10:30AM. Shuttle services will be available to allow paddlers to park their vehicles at the Heritage Park before the Boat Float begins. A limited number of canoes and kayaks will be available at no cost this year, but please bring your own if you have a boat.
Boaters will finish at the Northern Forest Heritage Park. Dick Huot, Director of NFHP, reminds everyone that the Park will be humming with River Day/Wingzilla activities that include seminars, workshops, aquatic displays and a selection of films from Northern Forest Canoe Trail's film festival. Shortly after the Boat Float arrives, Berlin’s Mayor Paul Grenier will proclaim that the third Saturday of June will celebrate the river and its fascinating history. There will also be plenty of delicious food thanks to WINGZILLA, a BBQ Chicken Wing Cook Off competition. And you can even try your hand in the “Luck of the Draw” Horse Shoe Tournament.. The family friendly Block Party continues into the evening with entertainment by Plan B!
Challenge your friends, relatives and co-workers to decorate their boat or other floatable device– see who has the most interesting. Is your Camp Owner’s Association active? What pond or lake will have the best representation; Lake Umbagog, Success, Nay, Cedar, Millsfield, Akers Ponds? Who will have bragging rights for best float? Or for human powered craft, challenge them to a friendly race to the finish. Or see what wild and crazy idea you can come up with for something else that floats.
And for paddlers out there, don’t miss the Paddlefest on the Connecticut River on July 25th (visit www.greatnh.org for more info). A free raffle for a paddle jacket donated by L.L. Cote will be drawn for those who participate in both paddling events! But don’t forget, in the River Day Boat Float, motorized craft are also welcome and encouraged to join us. A raffle for a half day Whitewater Trip donated by North Woods Rafting and a Pontoon Boat Tour by Northern Forest Heritage Park will be drawn from all participants in the Boat Float. Organizers also noted that there is always bragging rights for the best decoration or the winner of a race against relatives or friends. Ferg Lea added, “And if more than 22 show up, there’s also bragging rights to most boats on the Upper Androscoggin for any organized, well semi-organized event.”
Registration for the Boat Float will be at the Nansen Wayside Park north of Berlin on Rte. 16. For information on the schedule for the day, visit www.northernforestheritage.org or call NFHP at 603-752-7202. Paddlers can visit NFCT's Calendar of Events at www.northernforestcanoetrail.org for other great summer activities from New York to Maine! Check out www.androscogginwatershed.org for information on Androscoggin River Source to the Sea Trek.
Schedule for River Day Fun Float
Registration: 8:30 at Nansen Wayside Park (North Woods Rafting will oversee registration)
Shuttle Services back to Heritage Park: 8:30-11 (Parking for boat trailers will be at the R&D Building)
Boat Decoration theme: Luck of the Draw
10AM- Motor Boats
10:30 AM – Paddle Boats
Race Fee: $10 per boat (includes 1 t-shirt and registration), extra t-shirts are $5 each ($7 at NFHP)
Take Out: Northern Forest Heritage Park (in time for Proclamation at 12:00)
- Raffle for entrants for ½ Day Whitewater Rafting trip at North Woods Rafting and Northern Forest Heritage Park Pontoon Boat Tour.
- Raffle of names of those who participate in both River Day and Paddlefest events (LL Cote will donate a paddle jacket. Value $90)
Brian Bresnahan will have a table at River Day to promote G.R.E.A.T.’s PaddleFest (to be held on 6/25)