The15th annual Broadkill River Canoe and Kayak Race, a 10-mile race and fundraiser, is sponsored by the Irish Eyes Pub and Restaurant. It will take place on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 10 a.m. It starts in Lewes and ends in Milton.
Milton knows how to take advantage of its location along the head of the Broadkill River. The upcoming 15th annual Broadkill River Canoe and Kayak Race is just one example.
The 10-mile race and fundraiser, which is sponsored by the Irish Eyes Pub and Restaurant, will take place on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 10 a.m. It starts in Lewes and ends in Milton.
While the race will attract participants to the river, other activities are planned for those who aren’t as competitive and prefer to stay out of the water. The annual Bargains on the Broadkill, a festival hosted by the Milton Chamber of Commerce, begins at 9 a.m. The festival takes place at Milton Memorial Park and includes vendors, food, games and arts and crafts. The town’s Great Duck Race will also take place on the same day.
“We invite people to come to Milton to enjoy the day,” said Lisa Sumstine, executive director of the Milton Chamber of Commerce. “There’s a lot to see and do for everyone.”
For those who want to compete in the canoe and kayak race, there are several categories for different levels of experience including single or tandem canoe or kayak, fast kayak, paddle board or 4-person or more canoe.
The race attracts participants from around the country. Susan Williams, a Pennsylvania resident and the president of the United States Canoe Association, got her start at the Broadkill race in 2003.
Williams said she recorded the slowest time ever in that race. However, she still continues to participate in the race every year.
“Everybody has to start somewhere,” Williams said. “That’s why I always encourage new riders to come out.”
Williams said she’s still not sure what category she will be participating in, but she is sure that she will not be in unfamiliar territory.
“I’ve done just about every category,” Williams said. “So whatever boat I’m in is OK with me.”
Medals and other awards will be presented including a prize for the best race costume.
Maryellen Kiernan, community events coordinator of Irish Eyes and the organizer of the river race, said that the event originally started with a different sponsor. They started sponsoring the race two years ago.
While the event has a fairly new sponsor, the mission is still the same.
“This event started as a fundraiser,” Kiernan said. “Last year we raised over $1,000 for the Milton Chamber of Commerce.”
Sumstine said that the funds are used for marketing purposes to promote the town of Milton, which would help to attract more visitors.
“We use the money to further business in town,” Sumstine said. “We have many events in town to raise awareness.”