636 W. nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH
This is now an official annual event! and If you've done it in the past you will be back this year too! For the rest of you this is very light paddeling perfect for beginners. Mostly you will be ewing and awing over the best seat in the world to see a great fireworks display and oh there is that pre party thing too. Also because of our location you miss the crowds in fact for those that live on West side of town 20 minutes after show is over you can be home, seriously!
There is a parking lot and boat ramp at the very end of W. Nationwide Blvd, west of Huntington Stadium. GPSers, try 636 W Nationwide Blvd, 43215. Check www.redwhiteandboom.org/ for information about road closings. Note there is a parade at 6:00 that affects these. SR-315 or I-71 to I-670 then Neil Avenue to W Nationwide Blvd worked best in the past.
Once you get to the very end of W Nationwide Blvd, turn right into the parking lot where you'll see lots of boats. Look for the PADDLE OHIO sign on Matt G.'s Jeep Cherokee windshield.
For those who haven't gone before traffic can be interesting just getting there, roads start getting closed and the only way I've been able to get in is coming in from the West going East on long street and make a left on Hocking and another left on Nationwide Blvd. Cops have had road closed but if you have a kayak on top or tell them your going to boat ramp they will let you through.
Before sundown, we'll enter the Olentangy River, paddle a couple hundred yards to the Scioto River, hang a left, then continue downstream. We usually congregate near the dock at Neil Avenue and Long Street just before the second railroad bridge. During the fireworks, we are not allowed downstream of that bridge.
In the past we have not had a problem with parking ........ but...... more and more are finding are little secret parking space so If possible try to share a ride, double up, triple up, pack that vehicle tight with people & kayaks........you get the idea.
Currently the date is July 3rd and weather dependent. Matt G. will be in the parking lot by 4:30 (Hopefully in a really shady spot). Parking gets tighter during the evening. There will be many other paddlers besides our group. Get there as early as possible. Worst case, drop your boats near the boat ramp and park down the street elsewhere.
We'll hang out in the parking lot, then enter the river before dark. The show starts at 10:00.
If you don't have a Kayak but are interested in going contact Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, for the last couple of years they have been renting kayaks for this event but contact them early they go fast. Better yet great time to buy that kayak you wanted.
WHAT TO BRING
- Folding chair
-Food, we usually all do a bit of sharing ...especially if you bring something good. We'll have a table top grill you are welcome to use. .
- Water, water, water.
-Other beverages, as longs as consumed in red cups discretely there has not been a problem at pre event party.
- You may want earplugs
- You may want safety glasses if you don't wear glasses already. Depending on the wind direction, we've had small bits falling on us some years. Yes, we're that close to the action. Just ask Matt about this.
- A few anchors in the group are helpful. 10' of rope is plenty.
Anytime you go boating you are subject to a random inspection. At this event, it is guaranteed. Most of us go to the inspectors at the top of the boat ramp when we arrive to get it over with, instead of being hindered later when we try to get in the water. You will need
- wearable personal floatation device
- light source e.g. flashlight
- boat registration paperwork (in addition to the sticker)
- current license sticker on your boat
- whistle. Technically, you don't need a "sound signaling device" on this river, but you might as well carry one for safety whenever you paddle and to avoid getting into a legal argument with the inspector if he's expecting you to have one.
Just have a flashlight with you. You don't have to use it. You don't have to attach it to your boat. You don't need green and red lights. You don't need a flashing light. Headlamps are handy, but you won't even have the light on most of the time, if at all. There is plenty of light downtown.
Thanks goes out to Matt G for doing all the work so the rest of us can just show up at this event and have fun.