Extended cold weather and icy conditions in Kenduskeag Stream have forced the postponement of this year’s Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, according to race director Tracy Willette, director of Bangor Parks and Recreation.
In a phone message Friday morning, Willette said the race, which was scheduled for Saturday, April 18, will instead be held on April 25. This marks the first time in 49 years that the race has been postponed.
“The conditions this spring have been challenging to many race organizers,” Willette said in a press release. “After assessing the entire course [Thursday], we made a determination to reschedule the race.”
This year’s event will be the 49th annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race. The race is the most popular in the state, and regularly draws hundreds of boats and nearly 1,000 paddlers to the Bangor area. The course covers about 16 miles from Kenduskeag village to downtown Bangor.
“There is still a significant amount of ice in the first 10 miles of course,” Willette said. “We were not confident that the ice would release in time to create a safe course for our paddlers.”
As of Friday morning, thick slabs of ice clogged the section of the Kenduskeag downtown, and the Penobscot River was still iced in above the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge. The Kenduskeag flows into the Penobscot just upriver from that bridge.