Canoeing, music, food and fun hits Readstown
A hot and buggy day didn’t stop canoers and music lovers alike from attending the 3rd annual Friends of Readstown Fundraiser. A timed 6-mile race from Readstown Tourist Park to Soldiers Grove’s Beauford T. Anderson Memorial Park, individuals and groups started the race, placing their canoes into the Kickapoo River in tandem. The race takes most people about an hour to complete.
Some racers brought their own vessels while others rented them from Crooked Creek Canoe of Readstown. All the participants had a chance to win door prizes, as well as tandem and solo prizes.
Saturday’s event was coordinated by Ed Schaffer and Ericka Stubbs. Schaffer who founded the Friends of Readstown Fundraiser said, “Me and a friend of mine paddled the river four years ago from the start to Wauzeka. Paddling through, we thought ‘we need to use this for the town’. So that’s kind of what started it. We figured we’d make it a canoe race and music festival.”
Money was raised from canoe race registration, raffles, food, t-shirt sales, local vendor set-ups, and music passes, while parking and camping were free all weekend.
When asked what the funds from the event are used for, Schaffer stated they would be used to finish the disk golf course started last year, planting prairie grass by the road, and forming hiking trails in the park. He noted those were just a few things that would benefit from what is raised from this year’s event.
Stubbs said, “Stacy’s been working hard on food all week long.” Pulled pork, beans, coleslaw, BBQ’s and chili dogs were all served, along with beer from Hillsboro Brewing Company, as well as domestics. Schaffer stated Susan Mueller donated the pig and Gabe Williams smoked the pig.
Kicking off Saturday’s music fest on a stage made available by Guy Nelson and the Readstown Country Inn and Event Center, were James Schaffer and Friends and Tina King. Square Dancing also was in the mix that saw Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers and Kickapoo Joy Juice jumping in to keep feet shuffling along. As dusk settled in, Driftless Fire and Drum Tribe took to the stage. Other performers included the Psychedelic Chicken Farmers, Marah in the Mainsail, The PeOple Band, and TUGG.
Of course, I would be remiss if not mentioning the race results. First place Solo winner was Suzie competing as ‘23 Years’, with a time of 65 minutes. First place Tandem winners were Jesse and Liz competing as ‘Slow Boat to China’, with a time of 71 minutes. Second place solo was ‘Red Rocket’ at 71 minutes, with tandem ‘Floating Frogs’ at 90 minutes. Solo ‘Slow and Steady finished at 83 minutes. Fourth place was ‘Howe’ at 97 minutes. ‘Fire’ and ‘Air’ tied for fifth at 117 minutes. Overall last place was awarded to Dwight competing as ‘Easy Pro’, with a time of 123 minutes.
For more information on future Friends of Readstown events visit, https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofReadstown/
Photos by Karen Rynes~ Kickapoo Valley Photography