Event to get people out on the river

Residents from across the Tri-State Area will have the opportunity to spend a fun afternoon on the Ohio River during Saturday’s Paddlefest.

Presented by the Steubenville Department of Parks and Recreation, the free event will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Steubenville Marina.

Experienced and novice kayakers and canoeists are encouraged to take part in the afternoon of activities, which are designed to help show off the beauty of the river while offering a chance to enjoy the water in a group setting. Included will be photo opportunities, demonstrations and professional instruction.

Participants will have to bring their own kayak or canoe that is registered with the state of Ohio and have a proper safety vest –a Type I, II or III wearable personal flotation device.

A big concern about the event since it was first proposed was the issue of safety. While it might be pleasing to look at, the Ohio River can be a dangerous place, especially for the inexperienced. Organizers have taken note, and are working to make the afternoon as safe as possible. All participants will have to sign a disclaimer accepting personal responsibility, and the River Rangers program operated by the Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh will be on hand to discuss river safety.

We’re often reminded that our area has a tremendous asset in the Ohio River. An event like Saturday’s Meet Me at the Marina Paddlefest can help to showcase the recreation opportunities that are available.

Councilwoman at large Kimberly Hahn, Recreation Director Lori Featherolf and everyone else who’s been involved in the planning process deserve to be commended for their work in organizing what they hope will be the city’s first Paddlefest.