Organizers say the 2021 Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race will happen this year.

After scrapping the event last year, Bangor Parks and Recreation has announced the 2021 Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race is a-go. Race day is set for Saturday, April 17. Registration for the race is now open. According to Debbie Gendreau, Assistant Director of Bangor Parks & Recreation, "Registrations are limited to a certain amount of people and boaters to accommodate CDC guidelines. Race classes has been reduced from 23 to 7, but still accommodating every type of racer."

New rules for the 2021 race include:

  • Paddlers must wear a face covering until entering the stream. Race staff will give dry masks to paddlers as they exit at the finish line.
  • Staggered starting times based on class.
  • Racers will pick up their bibs, sticker and goody bag at the Parks and Recreation Center, April 12-16
  • Paddlers may not enter waiting area until 20 minutes prior to their designated start time.
  • 90 or fewer paddlers per-30 minutes.

Other changes to this year's race include limiting the number of boaters will be allowed to participate. The event is capped at 155 boats, or 310 people. There will be no race day registration this year, and no warming tent at the finish line.

The race will be different for spectators as well. The popular Six Mile Falls area will be closed to spectators. Onlookers who watch from other locations along the stream are asked to wear masks, and practice social distancing.

Registration is open until April 8, at BangorParksAndRec.com.

Last year was the first time Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race had ever been canceled. The event was canceled about a month from race day. Tracy Willette, Director of Parks and Recreation, said: "It's a difficult event to postpone and reschedule since the water level in the stream continually drops throughout the spring, along with the resources needed to safely run the event."

The 16.5 mile race begins in Kenduskeag Village, and ends at the Penobscot River in Downtown Bangor. The race typically attracts around 800-900 paddlers, and hundreds of spectators each year.

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