Marianna Canoe Race and Anything that Floats

auto_and_boat_3c_18Every community is held together by a common glue, a sense of togetherness that binds members together. For the small town of Marianna, one bond residents share is participating in an annual canoe race, according to event organizer and Marianna Outdoorsmen Association President Jason White.

White spent his youth fishing the shores of Ten Mile Creek and loves a good contest. In 2007, the first annual Marianna Canoe Race… and Anything That Floats water race was launched from those same shores and since then, he said “It’s really grown by leaps and bounds.”

Fast forward to the present, and what started as a small fishing contest among friends has escalated into a competition between – literally – “anything that floats” – whether that be canoe, kayak, boat or any river faring vessel.

“We have people participating who have come from all over the U.S.,” White said.

The race is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 30 at 11 a.m. According to the event’s web site at mariannaoutdoors.com, crafts will then “make their way down Ten Mile Creek along the 3.2 mile voyage to the finish line where [last year] approximately 3,000 attendees [enjoy] a barbeque and concert.”

Mouthwatering barbeque, food, and craft vendors will be on hand, including local Boy Scout troops, volunteer fire companies and the Beth Center baseball team. Professional mascots will make appearances. Local musicians Frank Vieiria and the Bingo Hall Preachers will provide entertainment.

The water race and festival serve to promote recreation in the region. White said that it not only attracts people in the area, but also out of towners.

The water race begins at 1724 Main Street in Marianna. (GPS coordinates:40,020734 latitude-80.094117 longitude.)

The cost to participate in the water race is $25 for members of the Marianna Outdoorsmen Association and $30 for non-members. Pre-registration is required or else race day rates increase by five dollars. Pre-registration will be held at the Marianna Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday, April 20 & Saturday, April 27 from 6-9 p.m. Complete race rules and requirements are available online at mariannaoutdoors.com.

Admission to the festival is $7 for attendees age 11 and up. Kids 10 and under are free.

According to the Marianna Outdoorsmen Association’s web site, “funds raised will help improve and promote an eight-mile water trail from Marianna to Fredericktown.” For more information, follow the Marianna Canoe Race and the Marianna Outdoorsmen Association on Facebook or visit mariannaoutdoors.com. Event organizer Jason White can be also reached during the daytime at 724-986-5708 for details.
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Story by Zachary Filtz for Pennsylvania Bridges