BAINBRIDGE (WBNG) — In Bainbridge, Memorial Day weekend means the unofficial return of summer, as well as the return of an annual event.
“This is the 57th annual Canoe Regatta. It, um, the race starts in Cooperstown and it goes to Bainbridge on Monday. That was the original start of the whole event. The Chamber of Commerce did that to get people to Bainbridge,” said General Clinton Canoe Regatta Chairman John Harmon,.
The weekend will be filled with canoe races, from the amateur level all the way up to a pro race to cap off the event. Recent heavy rainfall had river levels up area-wide, but they have gone down. The decision to cancel the races is up to the organizers, though right now all races are expected to happen.
“It’s kind of a judgement call. I mean obviously when it gets to flood level we wouldn’t, and it’s about a few feet below that is where we kind of lose it. We’re going to be about at five feet right now and it was as high as ten when the rain stopped last Wednesday,” said Harmon.
Other events, including carnival rides and games, will be happening on the park grounds. Plans are also in place in case of storms for those enjoying the rides.
“We’re in touch with the county and the county gives us whatever warnings we need. Then we get on the loudspeaker and we get people under what cover we can,” said Harmon.
With plans ready just in case, this should be a fun weekend, with some records potentially being set.
“Well it’ll be a little quicker this year I think because the water level’s up a little bit but we could be looking at a record time possibly too,” said Harmon.
All of the hard work is getting done behind me here in preparation for what should be a very fun weekend. Everyone is hoping that Mother Nature holds off long enough for this staple event to off without a hitch.
The Canoe Regatta kicks off Friday and goes until Monday, with events and races taking place each day. Anyone is welcome to attend.