Sunset Beach in Issaquah is preparing to host the 3rd Annual Northwest Paddling Festival on Saturday, May 11, a day-long celebration of sea kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP).
The festival at Lake Sammamish State Park includes the 6-mile Northwest Paddling Challenge, a paddlecraft race for kayaks and SUPs, and sponsored by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce. For those with less experience a 2 mile course will also be available. Both races will finish Grand Prix style on the beach at Sunset Beach.
Other events include:
- 45-minute sea kayak tours along the Park’s wetland area, every 15 minutes
- 30-minute SUP intro on-water classes, leaving the beach every 15 minutes
- Open-air market with dozens of vendors showcasing the latest and greatest kayak and SUP products
- Latest boats and gear available to demo
- Outdoor related non-profits explaining their programs, and
- Food vendors
Parking is available at Lake Sammamish State Park using a Washington State Discover Pass. A one-day pass is $10 or an annual pass is available for $30. Passes can be purchased at the Park entrance. Passes are also available online or at select retailers for an additional handling fee.
Access to the paddlesports market and displays is free. The guided sea kayak tour, intro to SUP classes and on-the-water sea kayaks and SUPs demos are available for a $5 registration fee. Children under the age of 12 accompanied by a paying parent or guardian are free. Tours are open to registered attendees 8 years and older (tour member aged 8-18 will be placed in a double kayak with their parent or guardian).
The entire event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the race starts at 10:30 a.m. Pre-registration can be done at the paddling festival website www.northwestpaddlingfestival.com or register the day of the event.