AUBURN HILLS (WWJ) – After high-water levels threatened the event in June, kayakers and canoeists are invited to participate in the Paddlepalooza 2011 races on the Clinton River this weekend.

Participants will begin launching their watercraft at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept.24 from the banks of Riverside Park on the corner of Auburn and Squirrel roads in Downtown Auburn Hills.

This year’s event offers three paddling activities to choose from: an 8-mile single person kayak race to the River Crest Banquet Hall in Rochester Hills; an 8-mile two-person canoe race to River Crest; or a 7.5-mile adventure river paddle to the Avon Nature Area, behind the Clinton River Watershed Council’s Office.

Prizes will be awarded for each race class and each participant will receive a free lunch and event t-shirt.

Because the river can be considered a difficult Class III rating at certain times of the year, Paddlepalooza is not recommended for the beginner paddler. Participants must be at least 12 years of age, and paddlers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Personal flotation devices and a $20 per person entry fee are required.

Over 150 people gathered at last year’s event, according to Brian Marzolf, Auburn Hills Parks and Recreation Director, who said the high-energy event helps bring awareness to the Clinton River as a beautiful natural resource right in our own backyard.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said she was excited to see Paddlepalooza grow year after year, adding that it’s a great way for locals to see the Clinton River from a different perspective.

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