The first water event of the season, The Gig Harbor Paddler’s Cup will provide boats, races and family fun in the city’s downtown this weekend.
The 5th annual event is set for Saturday and Sunday (April 2 and 3) in Skansie Brothers Park in downtown Gig Harbor.
This year, the event will feature a new relay race, extended Dragon boat races and the Paddler’s Cup Cross Narrows Challenge — a six-mile race from Gig Harbor to Owen Beach in Tacoma and back, said event organizer Nicola Barnato.
“It’s going to be busier with more vendors,” she said. “We’re trying to make it more of a community event.”
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Along with races and boat races, the event will feature live music and food from the newly opened JW @ the Boatyard food trolley, Charles and Terry Gourmet Chinese and geoduck chowder from Taylor Shellfish.
Complimentary harbor tours will be offered by the Gig Harbor Gondola and Destiny Harbor Cruises throughout the event and a Hunt in the Harbor event will provide prizes for children.
Additionally, a raffle will be held featuring gift baskets and prizes from local businesses, including a kayak donated from Ship to Shore Marina and accessories donated by Thrivent Financial.
Registration for the event is available online, at the site on Friday (April 1) or on Saturday morning beginning at 7 a.m.
The event will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday (April 2) and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday (April 3).
The Paddler’s Cup is hosted by the Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team and all proceeds benefit the team.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Barnato said. “It’s a very colorful event.”
More information and registration for the Paddler’s Cup can be found online at gigharborpaddlerscup.com.