Dive into Gatineau Riverfest: A Celebration of Nature and Community!

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September 9, 2023
September 10, 2023
Gatineau Riverfest in beautiful Wakefield, Quebec
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Hey, fellow river enthusiasts, to one of the most exciting events of the year - Gatineau Riverfest in beautiful Wakefield, Quebec! If you're looking for a fun-filled day celebrating the pristine beauty of the Gatineau River, mark your calendar for September 9, 2023, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. And don't worry about rain - there's a backup plan for September 10th!

A Paddle Down Paradise

Picture this: you, your friends, and a leisurely paddle down the enchanting Gatineau River, starting from Wakefield and ending at Farm Point. The Paddle Parade promises an adventure like no other, and it's not just for experienced paddlers; everyone's welcome! Register before August 25th, and you might even win a luxurious Wakefield Mill & Spa gift certificate for two worth $600!

Dress the Part

But wait, there's more! Gatineau Riverfest isn't just about paddling; it's also about style. This year's costume theme is "freshwater creatures." So, dust off those creative costume-making skills, and deck yourself out as your favourite aquatic inhabitant. Who knows, you could be the proud winner of the "best" or "funniest" costume award!

The Paddle Parade Details

Are you wondering about the nitty-gritty of the Paddle Parade? Don't worry; we've got you covered. First things first, registration is a must. Kids under 14 paddle for free! The registration fee includes a shuttle ride, a raffle ticket for some fantastic prizes, and a hot dog to keep your energy up.

Remember, this parade is for non-motorized watercraft with paddles only. That means dragon boats, rafts, canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are all fair game. Safety first! Don't forget your life jacket and water safety kit, which are required by law.

No Boat? No Problem!

Don't have your own watercraft? No worries! You can rent a canoe with equipment on-site or reserve a spot in one of the guided rafts. Say goodbye to the hassle of transporting your vessel - they've got you covered.

Paddle, Music, and More!

The Paddle Parade will launch from Turntable Park in Wakefield at 1 PM, and your journey will end at the boat launch in Farm Point Chelsea. The journey is accompanied by the sweet melodies of L’Ensemble River Brass - what a way to enjoy nature's beauty! Detailed instructions will be provided upon registration, so pre-register to make your day even smoother.

And, folks, don't forget to stick around for the canoe ballet performance featuring Becky Mason and L’Ensemble River Brass after the launch ceremony. You can watch it from your watercraft in the Paddle Parade or stand on the boardwalk in Wakefield - the choice is yours!

Festival Extravaganza

Once you've completed your paddle adventure, head over to Centre Wakefield La Pêche for a festival extravaganza. Here's what's in store:

  • Eco Fair and Market
  • First Nations drumming and dance by Eagle River Singers
  • Talks by environmental advocates like Maude Barlow
  • Community square dance with Pickachune and caller Emily Addison
  • Costume competition
  • A spectacular performance by The Peptides
  • A bonfire jam to cap off the evening

Meet the Organizers

Before we wrap up, let's get to know the passionate folks behind Gatineau Riverfest. The event is organized by Friends of the Gatineau River (FOG), an independent, not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization. Their mission is to protect and improve the Gatineau River for future generations.

Founded in 1991, FOG has been working tirelessly to address threats to the river's health and beauty. They monitor, advocate, educate, and celebrate the river through various initiatives, including the annual Riverfest. It's clear that these folks have a deep love for the Gatineau River and are committed to its preservation.

Join the Fun!

So, mark your calendar for September 9th, grab your paddles, put on your best freshwater creature costume, and head to Gatineau Riverfest in Wakefield, Quebec. It's a day filled with adventure, music, culture, and celebration, all in the heart of the stunning Gatineau River. Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to connect with nature and your fellow river enthusiasts!

For more information and updates, visit the official Gatineau Riverfest website here. Rain or shine, it's going to be a day to remember.

See you on the river! 🚣‍♀️🌊🎉