640 W Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH
Back by popular demand! A downtown paddle to watch Waterfire.
The last time we did Waterfire we learned that we can't mingle with the bonfires, we were required to stay at the bridge if we were floating, but we were allowed to park and leave our boats at the waterfront in front of COSI to enjoy Waterfire and music from land. The trip has been successfully completed by kayak, canoe and SUP, the return is not difficult despite moving up the stream.
We will meet at 6:30, you can bring food and snacks or plan on buying food from the vendors at Waterfire who sell pizza, BBQ and other offerings.
Waterfire is an outdoor event that combines lighting 55 bonfires in braziers on the river with live music. Arnette Howard will be the featured artist this evening. We will put in on the Olentangy, paddling past the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy, pass by the Santa Maria, to the area near COSI. This will be approximately a 1 mile paddle on gentle flowing water with a 1 mile return upstream. The water is not difficult to manage, even when going against the current. Kayaks and canoes have successfully made the trip earlier this year.
The event takes place on the COSI lawn along the waterfront. For those on foot, amphitheater seating at Genoa Park will open at 6:30 p.m. The performing partner will take stage at 7:30 p.m. followed by the lighting of braziers at 8:30 p.m. After the Scioto River is ablaze there will be another performance at 9:00 p.m. and the evening will conclude at 10:00 p.m.
We meet at the boat launch where Nationwide Blvd dead ends on the West side. This is the same place we launched from for the 4th of July, just west of downtown. We will be able to see the braziers and hear the music, but not get up close and personal with the bonfires (if you actually wanted to do that for some reason).
This event is in late September and finishes after dark, you may want to bring something warm to wear after the sun goes down.
You must have the following to participate:
A light source
A boat registration complete with a sticker on your kayak (no one checked for registration during the last Waterfire, but the marine police were present at the event).
As far as the launch location is concerned, it is very easy to find. Head downtown, turn west on Nationwide Blvd. Continue on Nationwide until it dead-ends into the boat launch area. The launch itself is a slope directly into the water, with ample parking.