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When the snow starts to melt and the river rises look for PaddleFest to mark the official kickoff to summer in the Arkansas Valley. Thousands of river enthusiasts from around the region and the world gather in Buena Vista to watch and celebrate all that paddling has to offer.
Held each year on Memorial Day weekend PaddleFest is the perfect venue to learn, share, improve, and explore your love for river sports. Since its start in 2001 PaddleFest has grown to include instructional courses on the river and flat water, professional and amateur kayaking competitions, a used gear swap, guest speakers, live music, games for kids and adults, special events, and industry vendors. Buena Vista is the perfect venue for PaddleFest. The Arkansas River around BV has a variety of sections appropriate for everyone; the Class II Milk Run is a great beginner practice run, the mega classic Browns Canyon and Fractions sections check in at Class III with one or two Class IV rapids, the Numbers is arguably the best Class IV section in Colorado, and Pine Creek offers up a stout Class V rapid. Kayakers, rafters, stand up paddlers, and canoeists looking to learn new skills have a multitude of course offerings to choose from, many of which are taught by world class paddlers.