The Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival has been selected as one of the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events for 2012. The annual canoe and kayak festival this year will happen Nov. 1-4 with a hub at the Sanibel Causeway. New this year is a signature non-profit partner, CROW, the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife Inc.
The Atlanta-based non-profit Southeast Tourism Society represents 12 states and annually recognizes events that reflect its mission of creating economic development through travel and sustainable tourism. This is the third consecutive year the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival was awarded Top 20 Event status.
Since 2006, the popular Southwest Florida event has offered seminars, guided trips, demonstrations, races, a photo contest, a fishing tournament and social events to an eager audience of kayakers. This year's festival will include on-water instruction, stand-up paddleboard activities and a canoe and kayak film festival. The festival will also offer a race to commemorate Lee County's 125th anniversary.
The festival serves to highlight public parks and archeological sites as well as resorts, restaurants and campgrounds along the Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail, a 190-mile marked-and-meandering saltwater trail that spans the coast and inland rivers along the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel.
The festival is coordinated by Lee County Parks & Recreation, which reported attendance for the 2011 festival from 20 states, Canada and Great Britain.
Source: Lee County Parks & Recreation