Paddlefest kicks off

Kayakers traveled to Prestonsburg from throughout the region and other states last year for Paddlefest. Starting this weekend, Paddlefest will be held on the fourth Saturday of every month through September.

Prestonsburg Tourism is kicking off the 2019 Paddlefest season this weekend.

Tourism Director Samantha West told Prestonsburg Tourism Commission members this week that the agency has received a lot of interest from the public for this event. 

“We’ve had a really strong response. With everything going on, we didn’t push it as early as we normally do, but it’s catching. We’re getting calls like wildfire on that,” she said. 

Starting on May 25, Paddlefest will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of every month through October. Participants will launch their boats in the park near the river behind Billy Ray’s restaurant, and they’ll float to the Harmon Station boat ramp at the Combs Airport on the Floyd/Johnson County line.

The cost is $15 for the eight-mile guided tour of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River, and that cost includes lunch and a shuttle service back to the launch site. 

The Paddlefest route is shorter than it was in previous years, following the decision of the Paintsville/Johnson County Tourism to back out of a partnership with Prestonsburg last year.

West said a shorter route has improved the trip. 

Three companies, including Pro Fitness and Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Floyd County, will rent kayaks and canoes at Paddlefest. West said the cost is $35 from those groups, and she said Legend Outfitters of Louisa may also offer kayak and canoe rentals on Saturday. 

For more information about Paddlefest, call, (606) 886-1341, or visit Prestonsburg Tourism on Facebook.

During the meeting, the commission also considered several items, including:

• Approved the financial report, showing $113,800 in tax revenues for the month, with $29,000 going to the Mountain Arts Center, $37,000 going to Prestonsburg Parks Commission, $38,000 going to the tourism commission and going to StoneCrest Golf Course. 

• Approved payment of $34,000 in bills, with officials reporting the credit card is paid off and all grants requested for this fiscal year have been paid.

• Approved partnering with the Expo Center in Pikeville to lease an advertisement space near a concession stand for $1,000. Officials said Prestonsburg Tourism is interested in partnering with Floyd County Tourism to lease space over one concession stand there. 

• Approved travel expense for West to represent the Middle Creek National Battlefield at an upcoming conference. 

• Learned the new Prestonsburg Tourism website is nearly complete. 

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