Fifty-eight paddle race enthusiasts took part in the second annual Calusa Palooza race along the Estero River on Saturday morning, April 22, 2017.
Race participants launched at 8 a.m. from the Koreshan State Historic Site’s boat dock. They competed in canoes, kayaks and stand up paddles in either a 4 or 8-mile race. The age categories were “over 12 to 17”, “18 to 49” and “over 50”. Youth under age 12 competed in a 1-mile race.
Following the various races, lunch was served in the recently completed pavilion constructed by park volunteers.
There was a raffle and then Councilmember Katy Errington presented awards to each of the winners.
This event supports youth paddling sports in southwest Florida and was sponsored by the College of Life and sanctioned by the American Canoe Association.
All race proceeds benefit a summer camp for at risk youth.
Loosely interpreted, the name “Calusa Palooza” means party honoring the Calusa Indians who were the early paddlers on the River.