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If you’ve been looking for a reason to go out on the water and maybe kayak on the White River, now you can try it for free! Jill Hoffmann, executive director of White River Alliance, visited Indy Style this morning to tell us all about this rare opportunity.

The White River Alliance, the premier organization for regional water resource protection in Indiana, in cooperation with the White River Canoe Company, is offering six Free Paddle Days on July 17 and 26 and Aug. 7, 16, 21 and 30 in place of the annual White River Dragon Boat Race. The White River Dragon Boat Race has been postponed until 2021 due to current health concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free Paddle Days will kick off on Friday, July 17 at the White River Canoe Company. The White River Alliance will hold an outdoor, annual meeting to follow social distancing guidelines beginning at 1 p.m. The meeting will include a short update about a new study of the river from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). The first 50 meeting attendees are eligible for a free single kayak rental on this day. Departure for the paddle begins at 1:30 p.m.

Free Paddle Days are also available July 26, Aug. 16 and Aug. 30. The first 35 single kayak rentals are of no cost and departures are offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the hour.

In partnership with the cities of Carmel, Fishers and Noblesville, Free Paddle Days offered on Aug. 7 and Aug. 21 will serve as a replacement for the annual Hamilton County White River Clean-Up. The first 85 single kayak and/or canoe rentals are of no cost and departures are available from 9 a.m. to noon on the hour. 

Participants are asked to clean up any small trash or debris encountered during the paddle. Boats with the biggest trash haul will be awarded a Visa gift card. 

More information on the Free Paddle Days can be found on their website.