Saturday, August 19, 2023


The Chippewa County Community Foundation, in partnership with Bird’s Eye Outfitters are excited to bring you the 5th annual Sault Riverfest (formerly Soo Ultimate Paddle Day) on Saturday, August 19, 2023 in beautiful Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Sault Riverfest celebrates Sault Ste. Marie as an amazing playground for paddling and outdoor recreation.  Come join us for a day full of fun, competition and relaxation on Rotary Island in beautiful Sault Ste. Marie, MI.  With so much to see and do in Sault Ste. Marie you will definitely want to spend your weekend taking in all that this area has to offer.

Events and Activities

Ample parking available at Aune Osborn park.

8:30 am  Riverfest 5K

Registration begins at 7 am on Rotary Island

  • $20 Race fee
  • Register at

The Riverfest committee is excited to partner with Yooper Running Company to bring the first ever Riverfest 5k.  This race along the river is sure to be an area favorite as you run our flat course watching kayaks, canoes and freighters along the river. 

9:30 am  Michigan Canoe Races Association – MCRA C2 Race

Registration begins at 8 am on Rotary Island

The Riverfest committee is excited to again partner with Michigan Canoe Racing Association (MCRA). While racing, you have the excitement of seeing the Great Lakes lake freighters up close and personal. You will enjoy all the beauty that the upper peninsula has to offer while racing down the St. Mary’s River.

$30 race day per team Registration begins at 8 am on Rotary Island or still through the online website.

The Race Course is 10 miles long in the beautiful St. Marys River , three miles down the river and back, followed by four miles through the lower river channel islands. 

PLEASE Bring your Mandatory Life Jackets and a canoe Bow Cover. The bottom portion of the loop is in shallow water along the shore of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but with an open Wind Fetch of 2 to 3 miles. If the wind is out of the South waves can build in this area. If conditions are determined to be unsafe for paddling through this open area the course will be adjusted.

9:00 am Mimosas & Yoga

Mimosas + Two Yoga Sessions (now you can do yoga both on land or your standing paddle board!)

  • Yoga is free

Mimosas from 9:00 

  • Break & Yoga: 9am
  • 45-minute Yoga session
  • 9:15 am – 10:00 am

Bring your paddle board (a limited number of paddle boards will be available on a first come – come first bases.) and join us for yoga on the St. Mary’s River. If stand-up paddle board yoga is not exactly your thing, bring your yoga mat and join in along the shoreline (Fair and full disclosure – there is goose poop) 

10:00am Communitywide Battleship Challenge

Registration begins at 9:00 am

  •  Teams will assemble at Rotary Park to participate in this event.  Your team of three people representing your organization, sports team or business will take sail in a canoe and face three other teams in the Rotary Lagoon area with the purpose of sinking the other teams.  The Community Foundation will arm your team with water guns, buckets and more, and we will provide all the canoes, life jackets and paddles you will need.  Think you have what it takes to be the top team in the city and take home the first ever Riverfest Cup?  Bragging rights are on the line and team costumes are encouraged!

 This year the Community Foundation will grant $500 to the winning team’s charity or local youth organization of choice!

  • This event is limited to the first 32 teams to sign up and spots are filling up fast.  There is no cost to participate, so get you team together, grab a fan club and start working on your technique 

Ready to sign up? click here

11:00 am – 4:00 pm RIVERFEST EVENTS

Rotary Island

  • St. Mary’s River Float
  • Canoe Battleship
  • Beast Jousting
  • Large Voyageur Canoe Rides
  • Water slide
  • Slackline
  • Bubble Zone
  • Music throughout day
  • Food vendors
  • Color WARS

River Float

  • FREE Event
  • 11am – 4pm
  • A leisurely float down the scenic St. Mary’s River
  • River tubes and paddles provided on-site
  • Life jackets provided on-site

Canoe Battleship

  • FREE Event
  • 11am – 4pm
  • 6 Canoe Battleship – Canoe battleship is a fun event where teams of four people try to sink other teams’ canoes and be the last boat floating at the end of the day.
  • Canoes and paddles provided on-site
  • 5 gallon buckets and super soaker cannons provided on-site
  • Life jackets provided on-site

Large Voyageur Canoe Rides

  • FREE Event
  • 11am – 4pm
  • 10 person adventure through the islands near Rotary Park
  • Giant canoes and paddles provided on-site
  • Life jackets provided on-site

1:00 pm MCRA C1 Professional Canoe Race

Registration 7:00 am - noon

The Race Course is 4 miles takes paddlers on a beautiful scenic tour through the chain of lower channel islands and back to Rotary Island. There will be signs along the banks pointing the way. You never know what wildlife you will see along your way!

1:00 PM Start Time

Awards for both the C2 and C1 MCRA races will be handed out approximately 30 minutes after the last C1 competitor finishes

Thank you to all of our sponsors that help make

Sault Riverfest possible!

St. Mary River Sponsors – $2,500

Rotary Island Sponsors – $1,500

Voyager Island Sponsors – $1,000

Kayak Sponsors – $500

Canoe Sponsors – $250

Mansfield Insurance Agency - State Farm

Sault Elks Youth Committee

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Contact Us

Phone: (906)635-1046