What do canoes, pollinators and live music all have in common? They will all be apart of the Friends of Readstown First Annual Canoe Race and Music Festival Fundraiser. The event will be held Saturday, June, 10. Race registration will begin at 9 a.m. with races commencing at 10 a.m. Music is set to kick off around 2 p.m.
“I came up with the idea about a year ago, while paddling down the Kickapoo,” said Ed Schaffer of the Friends of Readstown. “I thought this would be a great place for a race!”
A vision of happy canoe and kayakers coupled with the desire to make Readstown not only more beautiful but also pollinator friendly, led to the group putting together the upcoming event.
“The race is just for fun and bragging rights,” Schaffer told the Independent-Scout. “We hope to raise funds to help fund the pollinator garden and butterfly garden, as well as other additions to it down the road.”
The group is currently working on tilling and prepping a butterfly garden, in the shape of a butterfly in Tourist Park.
“We hope down the road to add more milkweed to promote monarch habitat by the woods and horse coral,” Shaffer said. “Maybe also add benches and make it so people can walk through the woods over to the Charles Street Bridge and enjoy the natural habitat.”
Recently during the Readstown Village Board Meeting, the village adopted the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to help provide habitat for Monarch Butterflies.
The Mayors’ Monarch Pledge is a program supported by the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program. It notes that the iconic species of butterfly population has dwindled by 90 percent in the last 20 years. Through the Pledge, cities and municipalities, like Readstown, are committing to create habitat and educate citizens about how they can make a difference at home.
Along with promoting pollination, there will be plenty of fun for all during the day.
The Friends of Readstown have teamed up with Crooked River Canoes for a race down the Kickapoo.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the race starting at 10 a.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their own canoe or kayak but rentals will be available for a reduced fee. Entry into the contest is $10.
The race is six miles in length and will launch in the Readstown Tourist Park and land at the Beauford T. Anderson Memorial Park in Soldiers Grove.
“The fastest paddlers could probably get it done in about 45 minutes and the slowest could take about two to three hours,” Schaffer observed.
It was also noted that the crew from Crooked River cleaned up and cleared out the path for the paddlers.
Preregistration and other information is available on the Crooked Creek Canoe Website at www.crookedcreekcanoe.com/canoe-race. Checks and registration info can also be sent to Friends of Readstown PO Box 63, Readstown WI, 54652.
If canoeing wasn’t enough fun for you, a great music lineup awaits returning paddlers and toe tappers alike.
“Most of the bands are folk and bluegrass,” Schaffer said.
Music and beer is set to kick off at 2 p.m. with Zane Luroy Solberg and Tina King warming up the crowd. They will be followed by Kyle Kane, Jamie Wagoner and Uncle Mike; Katy Fox and Friends; Marcus Morrell and Brooke.
There will be food for sale by everyone’s favorite local food wagon, the Black Hawke Grille, and beer from Driftless Brewery will also be available for sale.
There is a $15 donation entry fee, with proceeds going to the butterfly garden and keeping the good times rolling in the future.
Schaffer’s father, Jim Schaffer also donated a beautiful, one-of-a-kind, handmade guitar, which will be raffled off during the event. Tickets will be available for $10 at the event, with only 100 being sold.
“I think it will be a great time and hopefully will continue every year,” Schaffer concluded.
For more information or to register for the event you can visit www.crookedcreekcanoe.com/canoe-race or the Friends of Readstown Facebook Page.
Hope to see you there!