May 19, 2011

The Northwest Paddling Festival is an inaugural event in the Seattle area to sea kayaking and stand-up paddling. The Festival will be held in West Seattle on the shores of Elliott Bay at Jack Block Park and Seacrest Marina. The Northwest Paddling Festival will showcase on-water demonstrations, on-water instruction, races, classroom lectures and live music. The location has a stunning view of downtown Seattle and has ready access to the nightlife of both downtown Seattle and Alki Beach.

Jack Block Park, owned by the Port of Seattle, encompasses 13 landscaped acres with shoreline access and elevated viewpoints of Seattle’s harbor and skyline. The port property was formerly the site of a wood treatment facility which has been cleaned up. Following years of restoration by the port, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the site suitable for public beach access. The beach opening will coincide with the opening of this event.

Jack Block Park offers 350 feet of beach front for paddlesports manufacturers to show their wares and make them available to festival attendees and the general public. Two tents will serve as classrooms. There will also be on-water classes and demonstrations. The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce will help promote the event to local residents and facilitate partnerships with local vendors. The Festival will promote Sustainable Tourism, an objective supported by the City of Seattle, King County and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Seacrest Marina is the home of the King County Water Taxi, which links the downtown and West Seattle waterfronts. The marina is also a Seattle Parks and Recreation facility, run as a concession by Alki Crab and Fish and Alki Kayak Tours. It has a pier for viewing paddling demonstrations as well as a restaurant with indoor lounge and outdoor beer garden. Alki Crab and Fish will provide an evening venue for festivities, as well as the base for stand-up paddling manufacturers and enthusiasts.

Whether you’re an expert paddler or someone looking to try sea kayaking or stand-up paddling, the Northwest Paddling Festival is the place to be to get started for a summer on the water June 25 and 26, 2011.