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White River Canoe Co. hosting free paddle rides

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Hundreds of people are checking out the “Free Paddle Days” offered by the White River Canoe Co.

Starting Friday, people have six chances to paddle around the White River for free.

According to White River Alliance Executive Director Jill Hoffmann, these events will also serve as a way to replace the White River Dragon Boat Race and the White River Clean Up. Both were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think people are tired of Netflix, frankly,” Hoffmann said. “They just want to be outside enjoying the weather, family and getting some fresh air.”

Friday’s free paddle event sold out, but five other opportunities are available this summer: July 26 and Aug. 7, 16, 21 and 30. Hoffmann believes the turnout is a sign of people not letting the pandemic get in the way of a good time outdoors.

“This has been a challenging year, and it’s hurt our hearts a little bit, [but] the best way to heal that is to get out into nature and have some laughs,” Hoffmann said. “It just reminds me that this resource is valued and people are starting to really turn and face it as part of the community.”

Hoffmann hopes people will continue to show up, whether they’re experienced in paddling or not, to join their celebration on the water.

“You don’t have to be an expert and you will definitely have fun,” she said.

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