RALEIGH -- North Carolina will celebrate its coastal environment and exploration of it through paddling sports with the 2013 Crystal Coast Paddle Festival Sept. 7-8 at Hammocks Beach State Park, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
A Pirate Paddle scavenger hunt, the 2013 Mullet Cup paddling race and dragon boat races will be interwoven with paddle tours of the state park, kayak and paddleboard demonstrations by vendors, workshops and children’s activities. There will be environmental education opportunities and displays about paddling ranging from ancient American Indian canoes to state-of-the-art paddleboards and sea kayaks.
Proceeds of the festival will benefit co-sponsors, including principal sponsors Friends of the Hammocks and Bear Island, the Swansboro Area Development Foundation, VisitSwansboro and the White Oak-New Riverkeeper Alliance.
“The exploration of nature through canoeing and kayaking has always been an exciting part of the state park experience in North Carolina, and our visitors are always finding new ways of enjoying the state parks through paddling sports,” said Lewis Ledford, state parks director. “We want to encourage this healthful family activity in any way possible, and Hammocks Beach is a perfect venue with its pristine coastal environment.”
The Pirate Paddle scavenger hunt Sept. 7 is a one-mile linear race with paddlers challenged to find required items along the way. A Swansboro tradition, the Mullet Cup will be incorporated into the festival on Sept. 8 with a 3K timed course through marsh waters. Competitors may use any single-seat kayak or surf ski. And, any group of competitors may compete as a team in dragon boat races on Sept. 8 with a boat, equipment and coach provided by a vendor. Complete information about the festival and registration may be found at www.ncpaddle.org/festival'.com.
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