Paddlepalooza Sets A New Record For Attendance

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The combination of perfect weather and water levels drew 155 outdoor enthusiasts to participate in this year’s Paddlepalooza.  This river event is hosted by both Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills and allows paddlers from all around Southeast Michigan the opportunity to enjoy one of many recreational opportunities the river has to offer.

The festivities began in Riverside Park with both Auburn Hills Mayor, Kevin McDaniel and Rochester Hills Mayor, Bryan Barnett, thanking participants for their participation as well as touting the value of this great resource both communities take pride in protecting and enhancing for all to enjoy.

This year 28 men and ten women participated in the one-person kayak race, while 14 teams participated in the two-person canoe race.  The remaining 89 participants took a slower and steadier pace down the river to better enjoy the pristine views nature has to offer.

The event finished eight miles downstream in Rochester Hills, where participants had a chance to share stories while enjoying lunch on the patio of River Crest Banquet Facility.

Winners of the One Person Kayak Race – Men’s Division

  1. Richard Ensley – 1:15.25
  2. Vince Schnard – 1:18.04
  3. John Carricle – 1:18.08

Winners of the One Person Kayak Race – Women’s Division

  1. Gwenn Stevenson – 1:31.40
  2. Linda Gamage – 1:33.01
  3. Jean Dylong – 1:37.14

Winners of the Two Person Canoe Race

  1. David & Violet Fiddes – 1:34.18
  2. Jeffrey LeBlanc & Timothy Sosko – 1:42.00
  3. Kevin McDaniel & James Stevens – 1:44.06

As for the Mayors Cup Challenge, it was a three-peat for Mayor Kevin McDaniel and James Stevens (team Auburn Hills) who successfully defended the Cup, over Mayor Bryan Barnett and Jimmie Roach (team Rochester Hills).

Word has it, Rochester Hills, who always brings their A-game, was running strong and gaining ground before confronting a sideways canoe in their path.


Plan to join in the fun next year at the 10th Annual Paddlepalooza on June 2nd!