Choptank Rivah Run set for Aug. 22

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DENTON – In much the same way as when a baseball team takes to the field for practice before a game, the Choptank Rivah Run has served as the ultimate warm-up for a full day of free family fun for what has become the signature free family event in Caroline County, the Caroline Summerfest. This year’s Caroline Summerfest “Goes to the Big Leagues” on Aug. 21 and 22.

The 18th Annual Choptank Rivah Run will be held on Aug. 22 at Martinak State Park. Check in is at 9 a.m. Paddling begins at 10 a.m. This two-mile paddling event is open to all ages. An adult must accompany children under 18. Any type of paddle craft is eligible for this “Poker Run.”

For the fifth year, Easton Cycle and Sport will serve as a primary sponsor of this non-competitive paddle on the Choptank River from Martinak State Park to the Choptank River Yacht Club. Paddlers will compete for more than $1,500 in prizes donated by local businesses, including a 10-foot Vapor Series polyethylene kayak, donated by Easton Cycle and Sport.

Historically produced by Caroline County Recreation and Parks on Saturday of the Caroline Summerfest celebration in Denton, the 2015 event includes a new production partner: Caroline Chamber of Commerce, the veteran producer of the annual Paddlefest in May.

Other production partners include Underground Construction, the Commandant and Board of the Choptank River Yacht Club, Maryland State Parks and the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

Prizes are awarded not by speed, but by the luck of the card draw. The five-card poker draw is dealt to each paddler at a series of checkpoints along the river. The best poker hand gets the first choice of the prize selection, including the Vapor kayak.

“It is a perfect paddle experience for the beginner and families because of the relatively short distance,” says Ann Jacobs, executive director of the Caroline Chamber of Commerce. The estimated time on the water for even a novice paddler is less than 60 minutes and the support on the river is extensive. In 2014, more than 200 kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards followed the river trail. Free transportation from the yacht club back to the state park will be provided for event participants.

Pre-registration is recommended, but will also be accepted on-site the day of the event. To register, visit carolinerecreation.com to sign up on line or via phone at 410-479-8120. The cost is $10 per paddler in advance and $15 the day of the event. The first 100 registrants get a free t-shirt.

A limited inventory of canoes and kayaks can be reserved at the park or check into the many private outfitters in the area, including Easton Cycle and Sport.

For information, contact Caroline County Recreation and Parks at (410) 479-8120 or visit the website to download the registration flyer at www.carolinesummerfest.com.

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