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Race the Red Canoe & Kayak Race

***5/24 UPDATE*** Race the Red has been postponed to our back up date of June 19 because even though the Red River is within its banks, it is still moving fast. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources interprets the current rate of flow as very high and paddling should not be attempted in these conditions. We want all skill levels to be able to participate safely in this fun community event. Thank you for your patience and understanding! We too wish conditions were different so we didn’t have to postpone.

Kayakers and Canoers wanted for the 31st Annual Race the Red! All skill levels are welcome.

Race Information

Three Flag Races: Choose your distance, 1.5, 3.5, or 6 miles. Participants will paddle upriver to a designated turnaround point, grab a prize, and return downriver to the finish.

The Course: All races begin and end at the south boat ramp at Dike East (100 2nd Street South in Fargo). The first half of each race is upstream. There are awards for 1st place in each category for each distance.

Unloading and Parking: Allow plenty of time when unloading right before the race. Drop off your vessel near the Midtown Dam South Boat Ramp, then park. Carpooling is suggested.

Early Vessel Drop Off: Drop off your vessel between noon-4 p.m. to help with traffic congestion and receive a small prize. River Keepers staff will be on-site to ensure security.

*Canoe: Solo, Male Team, Female Team, Co-ed Team
*Solo Kayak: Male, Female
*Tandem Kayak: Male Team, Female Team, Co-ed Team
*Non-traditional (rowboat, hydro bike, SUP, peddled)

Participant Prizes:
*Awards for 1st place in each category for each distance
*Prizes at turnaround points
*Prize for Best Decorated winner

Best Decorated: Sign up to be in the Best Decorated contest. Each vessel will have its photo taken and posted on River Keeper’s Facebook and Instagram. Please arrive early to have the photo taken. The picture with the most likes by the following week will receive an award. All decorations must be securely fastened. If anything comes off, you must collect it immediately.

Fees & Registration

Fees: Early bird fee is $20/person. The entry fee goes up to $25/per person at 5 p.m. on June 12. Eventbrite sales end on June 18 at 5 p.m. A limited number of canoes, single kayaks, and tandem kayaks are available to rent for $15.

Register on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/2023-race-the-red-canoe…

Become a sponsor for this event or learn more: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/2023-race-the-red-canoe…

We need a lot of volunteers to make Race the Red happen. Sign up today: riverkeepers.org/volunteer


Rules to Remember:
*Fun is the primary intention of this event.
*PFDs must be worn and fastened at all times.
*All vessels must be manually propelled.
*No tipping, bumping, or splashing others.
*Alcohol is not permitted.
*Family and friends can bike/run along the entire course on the Fargo Park District’s trail system to watch their paddlers.

Precautions: The Red River is on MN DNR’s list of infested waters for zebra mussels. Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) or Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) are non-native species that can harm our natural resources. To prevent the spread of these unwanted species, boaters need to clean and drain their vessels. To remove or kill hard-to-see aquatic invasive species before moving to other water bodies, spray with high-pressure, very hot water and/or dry boats and water-related equipment for at least five days.

Inclement Weather Policy: In the case of inclement weather on the day of the race, the race will be postponed if the forecast predicts lightning, high winds, flooding, or the current is too fast. The race will go on as planned if rain is predicted (dress accordingly). A decision will be made by noon on the day of the race. Just in case, mark your calendar for the backup weather date, and check your email or River Keepers Facebook Race the Red event page for the latest news.