Paddles Up brings hundreds to Islandby jmaloni
by Autumn Evans
This year's Paddles Up, hosted by the Niagara Greenway Commission, drew tourists and locals alike to Beaver Island State Park to experience the area's largest paddlesports event.
There were 208 crafts and 236 participants overall, according to the commission's executive director, Rob Belue.
"It was great, it was a good turnout," Belue said, noting that although the weather forecast kept some people away, this year had the second-highest attendance of the nine years the event has run. It was beat only by last year's attendance, which Belue said might have been because last year's forecast predicted sunny skies for the duration of the event.
Belue said he was happy with this year's results, and he had high hopes for next year.
"I think we're gonna be able to do an even bigger event with expanded activities," he said. "I'm looking forward to bringing people into Grand Island!"