Gunning it

Gunnison’s Whitewater Park takes center stage at this weekend’s eighth annual Gunnison River Festival, where casual events like the River Parade, Race for the Golden Paddle and Hooligan Race bump oars with USA Freestyle Kayak-sanctioned competition. “As of this year, we’re now one of six locations in the U.S. for athletes trying to qualify for the national team,” says festival director Angie Mauldin. “It’s going to ramp up the level of competition, and from a spectator’s point of view, it’s going to make for quite a show in our park.”

The family-friendly festival is also a celebration of the rivers of the Gunnison Valley and helps raise money for improvements to the Whitewater Park itself: Proposals on the 2010 Master Plan include two new freestyle kayak features, improvements to the put-in area and surrounding trails, and a webcam. “Gunnison Valley is home to three big rivers — the Gunnison, the Taylor, and the East River,” says Mauldin. “We’re hoping to bring attention to the importance of the watershed itself as a resource and encourage recreation in and around the whole valley.”

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June 25-27, 2010

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Colin Bane
Contact: Colin Bane