Subscriber Login

Canoefest is June 23-24

By Jon Estridge, Editor

Canoefest organizers are making some changes this year for their 13th annual Canoefest.

It will take place in Brookville on Friday and Saturday, June 23-24, at the Brookville Town Park.

Since its inception, money raised through Canoefest has always been donated to the Town of Brookville for use at the town park. That changed this year when organizers pledged to send the excess money to FC Can.Mike Reed and Jane Klenke are the cochairs for Canoefest.

“We switched gears a little bit,” Reed said. “We're now partnering with FC Can.”

FC Can is a not-for-profit organization which is designed to help Franklin County residents navigate the difficult road of fighting cancer after their diagnosis. The organization provides access to local and national resources, emotional support and some financial assistance to those who are in treatment for cancer, and who live in Franklin County.

“We thought it was important to include more people and do something they care about,” Reed said. “So our proceeds will now be benefitting FC Can. They help people in our county who have been affected by cancer. Many people in our community have been touched by cancer. When it seems like you are alone, they are there to help with prescriptions and resources, getting the right contacts and help. That is why we started to partner with them.”

FC Can Board Member Connie Gayda said FC Can, among other things, gets gas cards and secures transportation, which comes through the Senior Center. People can be transported to their treatments.

“It's really nice to get involved,” Gayda said. “Now that Canoefest is going to partner with us, that's wonderful.”

“All the money stays local, FC Can Board Member Kirshell Lovins said. “One hundred percent goes to local resident going through any type of cancer treatments.”

There are also going to be some changes to Canoefest itself. One of those changes occurs on Saturday. There will be a car show in the area of the log cabin.

Action starts Friday afternoon when the booths open for business at 5 p.m. That is the time the VFW will fry their famous fried chicken.

A 5K Color Me run and walk will also start at 5 p.m.

That is a busy time for the festival, as the Canoefest Princess candidates will also make their appearance at Canoefest in a classic car caravan, beginning at 5 p.m. The final thing to start at the opening bell is Kids Fest. Co-Coordinator Klenke explained what Kids Fest entails.

Kids Fest has three bouncy houses, a duck pond, sucker pull and an interesting addition with a princess booth where young ladies may dress up like a princess and have their photos taken with real a princesses who are in the Canoefest Princess Contest.

Kids Fest will be open both Friday night and Saturday. The armband for playing in the bouncy houses is $10; however, the price is cut in half if the children come between 1-3 p.m., Saturday. During that time, the price for an armband is $5.

The crowning of the Canoefest princess will take place at 6:30 p.m., Friday.

Also, starting at 6:30 p.m., and ongoing until midnight is DJ Ginga Ninja. At 8:30 p.m., the winners of the 5K will be announced.

The beer garden's last call goes out at midnight.

On Saturday, are the canoe races. Race registration goes on for three hours from 6:30-9:30 a.m. Online registration is available this year, and it can be found at

The professional races take place first, with the biathlon and championship categories taking off at 8 a.m and 8:30 a.m., respectively.

Recreational races begin at 9 a.m., and continue with different races starting off from the tailwater starting line through 10:30 a.m. It is the largest canoe race in the state.

After the canoe races are done, the booths open at the Grandstand area of the Brookville Town Park at 1 p.m. That is also the time for the beginning of the initial Canoefest car show.

Also, cancer awareness booths and other not-for-profit organizations booths will open at 1 p.m. They will remain open through 4 p.m.

Among the other booths opening up are wine tasting booths. Canoe Race awards will begin at 4:30 p.m., while the Cedar Grove Volunteer Fire Department will unshutter its food tent at 5 p.m.

Music starts at 5:45 p.m. with the Nick Winters Band. Jason Owens Band takes the stage at 6:45 p.m. Ginga Ninja DJ will come back for a second night beginning after the fireworks.

Fireworks will begin at dusk and are by the same company that does such a fine show every year, Thunder Valley Pyrotechnics.

Reed said if it weren't for the Canoefest sponsors, there would not be a Canoe-fest. An example of the sponsor's role is the fireworks. FCN Bank sponsors the fireworks, which may be the best fireworks display in the Tri-State. Reed asked for those attending Canoefest to thank the sponsors and patronize the sponsors.

Anyone who would like to volunteer, sign up for canoe races or have questions about Canoefest should contact Klenke at 812-584-2002 or Reed at 513-967-5669.

Canoefest information can be found at