Paddlefest draws big crowd

Saturday marked the official start of Paddlefest (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Saturday marked the official start of Paddlefest.

The event kicked off Friday night with a pre-paddling party.

Kayakers and canoers launched into the Ohio River at 7 a.m. from Schmidt Recreation Complex and paddled nine miles to a finish line festival at Gilday Riverside Park, four miles downstream from Paul Brown Stadium.

Participants also enjoyed a "halfway celebration" hosted by the City of Covington at Covington Landing with live music, refreshments, and exhibit.

The event has been recognized by the American Canoe Association as the largest paddling event in the country, drawing more than 2,000 people from 20-plus states.

It benefits Outdoor Adventure Clubs of Greater Cincinnati, which works in 20 inner city high schools in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to get teens out into nature to paddle, fish, hike, bike, climb, and camp year-round.

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