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Festival celebrates Soque River
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Soque River Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 16

Where: Chatterton Place, farmland next to Pitts Park in Clarkesville

How much: Free festival and bike ride tour; $10 per person for the 2-mile paddle trip

Contact: 706-754-9382,

If you aren’t familiar with the nuances of Clarkesville’s waterways, you don’t have to continue to float up the creek of knowledge without a paddle.

Instead, you could make plans to attend the inaugural Soque River Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 16.

The centerpiece of the festival is a two-mile paddle trip on the Soque River, beginning near Farm Hill and concluding at Chatteron Place.

“Over the last few years, the community has expressed more and more interest in opportunities to get out and enjoy the Soque River,” said Justin Ellis, director of the Soque River Watershed Association, which organized the event.

“That’s the goal of the day — to give as many people as we can the unique opportunity to experience the river up close.”

The trip will last for about an hour and will include paddling instructions, a guide and a laminated map of the river. It costs $10 per person. That fee includes the use of the boats, paddles and adult-sized life jackets. Children will be allowed to participate in the beginners-rated trip with a parent, but they must bring their own life jackets.

The river rides will be conducted every half-hour from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and participants must pre-register by contacting the watershed office or visiting the group’s website.

As the paddlers are making their way to Chatteron Place, which is located beside Pitts Park on LaPrade Street, festival attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy other activities like live music and sampling treats from food vendors. There will be a kids zone with swimming, face and rain barrel painting and a bug hunt.

The river festival will also include a free bike tour of the proposed Clarkesville Greenway.

The ride begins at 11 Saturday morning.

Participants must register in advance and bring their own helmet and bike. Children will be allowed to participate in the two-wheeled tour at their parent’s discretion.