Spring is coming to the Finger Lakes. The buds are popping, the grass is now really, really green and growing and we have had our fair share of April Showers*. Looking for one more sure sign of spring? That would have to be the Shortsville/Manchester Wild Water Derby – one of the largest paddling events in the northeast.
The Wild Water Derby is a local tradition in the spring. It all takes place along the Canandaigua Outlet which flows north from the outlet of Canandaigua Lake all of the way to the Erie Canal. [get directions to the event]
The Wild Water Derby includes two days of (cold) water, racing, food, music, paddling, kayaks, rafts, some pirates and having a ton of fun. Teams can put in hours planning and constructing their rafts, because many ‘water vehicles’ at this race are home-made. The homemade raft portion of the weekend is where the teams get “extra” points for creativity and humor, and it is a spectator favorite. Although it is considered a “racing” event, the number one priority is having a good time.
* SPECIAL NOTE: The Wild Water Derby is RESCHEDULED for MAY 21 & 22, 2011 – in the interest of participant and spectator safety.
Click here to see a short video created two years ago at the Wild Water Derby. “AJ checks out Manchester and interviews some of the teams before and some after ‘the Run’.”