400 paddlers to visit Newnan June 25

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A group of 400 people who will paddle the Chattahoochee River in late June will be making a stop at Chattahoochee Bend State Park in Coweta County and, later that day, will be guests at the Chattahoochee Bend RiverFest on the grounds of the historic courthouse in downtown Newnan.

The paddlers will be participating in this year’s Paddle Georgia event that begins June 21 at Buford and continues along the Chattahoochee River to Franklin on June 27.

Sponsored by Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park, the downtown event for the 400 paddlers will run from 5-9 p.m. on June 25. The event will feature live music, exhibitors, demonstrations of paddle sports and outdoor sports and a free-standing pool on South Court Square for Kayak demonstrations and canoe tug-o-war games.

“It’s an exciting privilege for our local Friends group, our state park and Newnan to host this year’s Paddle Georgia River event,” said Friends board member Greg Hyde. “Georgia River Network is an important inclusive resource. They work in partnership with the RiverKeepers and the Georgia Water Coalition to engage and empower Georgians to protect and restore our rivers for clean water. Paddle Georgia is their premier vehicle to help Georgians enjoy our rivers.”

Friends board member Dean Jackson said the RiverFest event is a way to welcome the participants to town and encourage them to get to know Newnan and enjoy what the downtown has to offer.

The event will focus on Newnan’s historic downtown, encourage participants to dine at downtown Newnan restaurants and shop in downtown retail establishments as a part of their stay in the community. 

A sampling of the events planned for the evening include a 30-foot by 60-foot portable pool on South Court Square for paddle demonstrations and activities such as canoe tug-o-wars, music on the square provided by Corey Powell and the Johnson Brothers’ Music Revue, a downtown Newnan Art Walk, films featuring the Chattahoochee River and paddle sports and exhibition space for regional parks, recreational providers and sponsors such as exhibitors from Friends of the Chattahoochee Bend State Park, the Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources, the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and the Georgia River Network.

“This is going to be an excellent opportunity to promote outdoor sports, and showcase what our state park and the Chattahoochee River offers our community and our state,” said Friends board member Vicki Kaiser.