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Enjoy water-related fun and music at Cincinnati's Ohio River Paddlefest

scenes from a previous Cincinnati Ohio River Paddlefest
scenes from a previous Cincinnati Ohio River Paddlefest
courtesy Cincinnati Ohio River Paddlefest

The city of Cincinnati is playing host to a really unique family-oriented event set on the Ohio River that you won't want to miss if you and your family are fans of boating, fishing and other water-related activities. Join the fun at the 13th annual Ohio River Paddlefest on Friday, June 20, Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22 in the "Paddling Capital of the USA". It is approximately a 4 hour drive from Cleveland.

Canoe paddles at Paddlefest
courtesy Ohio River Paddlefest

Ohio River Paddlefest The largest canoe/kayak paddling event in the Midwest taking place at Coney Island Park and Lake Como, the Ohio River Paddlefest will feature a multitude of pursuits that are sure to please attendees of all ages. Kids in particular can look forward to a wide range of fun and educational activities.

The Paddlefest is actually broken up into five separate events. On Friday, June 20 is the Paddlefest Kids Outdoor Adventure Expo (from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). Saturday, June 21 is the Paddlefest Outdoor Expo (10 a.m. - 8 p.m.) and the "Roots on the River" Music Festival (7:30 p.m. - midnight). Sunday, June 22 brings the Paddle the Ohio event along with the Gold Star Chili Finish Line Festival.

Paddlefest Kids Outdoor Adventure Expo The largest nature, environmental and water safety education event for children in the Midwest, the Kids Expo features more than 50 interactive exhibits and activities. Admission is free.

Some of the activities available for the children include fly casting, catching a fish, paddling a raft or a dragon boat on Lake Como, climbing a climbing wall, watching a puppet show, storytelling and petting farm animals. Children will also have the chance to learn about generating renewable energy, composting, water safety, nutrition, exercise and wildlife and fish of the Ohio River Basin.

Paddlefest Outdoor Expo Taking place at Coney Island Park on Saturday, June 21 from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. on the banks of the Ohio River, this part of Paddlefest gives visitors chance to participate in Kayak fishing, enjoy boat demonstrations, take canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard lessons, take yoga/fitness classes, participate in a Fishing Derby and participate in a Gear Swap. And don't miss attending the "Roots on the River" Music Festival taking place from 7:30 p.m. - midnight featuring live musical performances.

Sunday, June 22's activities include the "Paddle It" event where you can participate in a 8.2 mile float trip down the Ohio River, a 11 mile canoe and kayak race or a 5 mile Stand-up Paddleboard Race. At the Gold Star Finish Line Festival (10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.) at Yeatman's Cove, visitors can enjoy live music, lots and lots of food and beverages and bike demos.

Most of the activities at Paddlefest are free but there are some entry fees and admission fees for some of the participatory events.

For more information about the Cincinnati Ohio River Paddlefest call 513-787-5755 or get online at

For those wishing to stay overnight, check out the Hampton Inn Wilder (across the Ohio River in Wilder, Kentucky) located at 10 Hampton Lane (859-441-3049) or the Country Inn & Suites also in Wilder, Kentucky located at 10 Country Dr. (859-441-3707). Both hotels are less than 5 miles from the Paddlefest.

Coney Island and Lake Como are located at 6201 Kellogg Ave. in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is approximately a 4 hour drive from Cleveland.

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