Blazing Paddles Paddleboard Race Stokes the Cuyahoga River

Blazing Paddles Paddleboard Race Stokes the Cuyahoga River

Our goal for Blazing Paddles was to reframe the Cuyahoga River narrative and we were so pleased media picked up on a paddleboarding race as a perspective-changer for recreational use of a river that formerly served as a cultural reference point for environmental ruin.

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Here Comes the Ramble and Blazing Paddles, Celebrating How Far the Cuyahoga River Has Come Since 1969

Is there a better way to celebrate how far the Cuyahoga River (and Cleveland) has come since the June 22, 1969 fire than a run/walk of the Cuyahoga River trails followed by GREAT music and Fat Head's Brewery beer? We don't think so.

In case you haven't heard, the 2nd Annual Share the River Ramble starts at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon on the grounds of Cleveland Rowing Foundation (CRF) (1003 British St., Cleveland, OH 44113).

Here's a rundown of the Ramble schedule:

  • Cleveland Rowing Foundation gates open at 4 p.m. for "Happy Hour by the River" where you can enjoy a cold beer and talk with Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie stakeholders at our expo
  • At 5 p.m. DJ Red-I starts spinning her music. Brittany “DJ RED-I" is the beatmaker behind the all-female Cleveland hip-hop group “Fresh Produce” - She previously operated  “Young Kings” Record shop in Hingetown, and now “Brittany’s Record Shop” in Slavic Village.. specializing in vintage vinyl Soul, Hip Hop and Reggae. 
  • Around 6:30 p.m. a 3.3 mile run/walk of the Cuyahoga River trails steps off just south of the Columbus Road bridge, transiting the Scranton Flats Towpath, the Cleveland Foundation Lake Link Centennial Trail, and the Red Line Greenway before finishing between CRF and Merwin's Wharf.
  • Food trucks will be on-site to satisfy your gnosh needs: CLE Chicken, Sauced Wood Fired Pizza and Little Penguin Froyo.
  • At 7 p..m. Ray Flanagan and The Authorities take the stage. They're a full band playing original music and covers of classic rock and blues rock. If you're a fan of groups like Tom Petty and The Heart Breakers or The Black Keys, you're gonna dig this show. Check out this review.
  • At 9:15 p.m. Jul Big Green wraps the evening. An Akron based band lead by Julian Huntley, they’ve been playing northeast Ohio and steadily grown to become one of the top regional acts over the past three years. An eclectic band with influence from Pop, Funk and Hip Hop. Try not to dance, you won’t succeed. 

Would you expect anything less from our music programmer Thomas Fox?

The following morning is Blazing Paddles, the first ever stand-up paddleboard race held on the birthplace of the environmental movement.

  • The race for CASH prizes goes off the line at 9 a.m. off the Cleveland Rowing Foundations docks, heads up river 2.85 miles to the turnaround point at the Jefferson Ave. Bridge (which JUST happens to be the site of the 1952 Cuyahoga River fire, the BIG one), finishing in front of Cleveland Rowing Foundation.
  • A parallel event, Surf & Turf, will be happening from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Crooked River Skatepark with all ages skateboard lessons from 10 a.m. to noon, an open skate jam from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with music, raffle prizes, and giveaways.

Check Out This Great WVIZ Story on Blazing Paddles!

We're grateful to our supporting sponsors who have helped make the Expanded Ramble and Blazing Paddles a possibility:

  • Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District: "‘Given our role in helping to improve the health of the Cuyahoga River, we’re excited to be part of this celebration. Plus, we’re happy to support an event that connects people to our water resources."
  • Fat Head's Brewery is our official brewery partner.
  • Canalway Partners: "We're pleased the Share the River Ramble is serving as one of the kick-off events for the inaugural Cleveland History Days, "10 Days and 20 Ways to Experience Cleveland’s History". More information is at http://canalwaypartners.com/events/clevelandhistorydays/
  • Ohio City Inc.: "Ohio City Incorporated is working with partners to tie together a growing network of trails and connecting people to the riverfront through Irishtown Bend, and we are thrilled to support the Share the River Ramble which celebrates one of our regions greatest assets, the Cuyahoga River."
  • "The Port of Cleveland is excited about the expanding and safe recreational use of the Cuyahoga River. Moreover, we are pleased to support events like Blazing Paddles, that allow people to share the rebirth of the Cuyahoga River with friends and family.”  - William Friedman, President and CEO, The Port of Cleveland
  • University Hospitals EMS is making sure our event will be a safe one with their kind provisioning of services for both the Ramble and Blazing Paddles. UH has a clear commitment to the community and this falls perfectly in line with their mission.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Impact on the Cuyahoga River

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Impact on the Cuyahoga River

Today our nation remembers, commemorates, and celebrates the birth of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and we're reminded of King's impact on something he may not be widely recognized for: the rebirth of the Cuyahoga River.

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Today is River Day!

Today is River Day!

Today is Cuyahoga River Restoration's River Day, where 29 different events and activities give you an opportunity to spend some time along the Cuyahoga River and its system of wetlands, tributaries and, of course, Lake Erie, where the river flows into

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