Where to Paddle This Weekend: May 2-3, 2015

Costume contest in NorCal, watermelon chase in Alabama and the world's biggest SUP lesson

Great Russian River Race
Great Russian River Race

Wetumpka, Alabama – Coosa River Whitewater Festival. Hosted just north of Montgomery, the Coosa River Whitewater Festival kicks off tomorrow and runs through Sunday. Organizers boast "a weekend full of fun, fellowship, competition, and whitewater" at this annual event, including a freestyle competition, kayak jousting match, and everyone's favorite, the Watermelon Chase. Info: http://www.coosariverwhitewaterfestival.com/

Everett, Pennsylvania – Bloody Run Canoe Kayak & SUP Classic. Join fellow racers for the historic Bloody Run Canoe, Kayak & SUP Classic race hosted by the Raystown Canoe Club in Everett on Saturday. Beginners and experts welcome. Info: http://www.raystowncanoeclub.com/bloodyrun

Russian River, California – The Great Russian River Race. Join in the fun this Saturday, with two separate races on the beautiful Russian River in Northern California: a 15 mile and a 5 mile race for canoes, kayaks, and SUPs. Now in its third year, the race is expected to draw over 350 racers. Just looking for a fun Saturday afternoon? Check out the free River Race Party from noon to 4 p.m., which will have beer & wine, food trucks, kids activities, vendor booths and a costume contest among racers. Advanced, intermediate and recreational paddlers welcome. A great kick-off to summer on the River! Info: http://www.greatrussianriverrace.com/

Newport Beach, California – Standup For The Cure. Paddle Newport's Back Bay with friends and cancer survivors to spread awareness and raise money for breast cancer. Holder of the Guiness World Record for largest Standup Paddleboard Lesson and winner of the 2012 SUP Magazine SUP Award for Top Philanthropic Effort, this is one of the largest SUP charity events, with a great cause and lots of fun for all. Info: Standup For The Cure

White Salmon, Washington – Little White Race. Due to unusually low precipitation in the Pacific Northwest, this year's whitewater showdown was rescheduled a month earlier than usual.  The Little White Race marks the beginning of dry-top weather and summer boating, and is a great excuse for everyone in the Columbia River Gorge and surrounding area to get together for a weekend of racing, stoke floats and celebrating. Stay tuned to CanoeKayak.com Friday through Monday to see our exclusive coverage of the race, including live Instagram updates and video recap. Info: http://littlewhitesalmonrace.com/wp/

Hendersonville, Tennessee – Cumberland River Paddlefest. This free and fun event will be held Saturday, May 2, 2015, from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM at 133 Sanders Ferry Road, Hendersonville, Tenn., offering gear clinics, paddling clinics, and fishing clinics. Wanna paddle with your dog? There's a clinic for you and your pooch too. Learn more: http://www.canoekayak.com/canoe/cumberland-river-paddlefest/

Orlando, Florida – Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail Celebration. This weekend, paddlers will gather at Wekiva Springs State Park near Orlando to share their experiences on one of the longest designated water trails in the world. Measuring over 1,500 miles, the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail traces the entire perimeter of the Sunshine State, exposing paddlers to its wonderful diversity of wildlife and landforms, including manatees and 'gators, and salt marshes, mangroves and beaches. C&K caught up with Florida paddling trail coordinator Liz Sparks to see what she's most looking forward to at the second-annual Circumnavigational Trail Reunion, May 1-3. Learn more: http://www.canoekayak.com/?p=81411

Farmington, Maine – UMF Canoe and Kayak Race. The University of Maine at Farmington Fitness and Recreation Center is kicking off spring with the 5th annual Canoe/Kayak Race and Fun Paddle on Sunday, May 3, on the Sandy River. Sponsored by the FRC "Mainely Outdoors" outdoor recreation program, the event provides a great opportunity for members of the public to enjoy the healthy outdoor activities that Farmington, Maine, and the surrounding area has to offer on this ten-mile paddle. Info: http://www2.umf.maine.edu/frc/

Michigan and Illinois, multiple rivers – 4 Rivers in 1: Roundtrip Kayak Tour. Join a kayaking group on the Illinois & Michigan Canal, Dupage River, Desplaines River and the Illinois River: all in one trip, led by an ACA certified kayak instructor. A favorite trip of many dedicated paddlers in Chicagoland, the paddle often encounters wildlife on the kayak tour that spans four different types of waterways. (All beginner flatwater.) May 3-4. Info: http://www.kayakmorris.com/4-rivers-kayak-tour/

–Check out our EVENTS CALENDAR for upcoming paddling events or SUBMIT YOUR OWN.