On Saturday, June 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., South Coast Paddling Company will host the Fort Maurepas Kayak Festival on Front Beach as part of the 10-day South Coast Summer Fest currently going on throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Kayak Festival will include live music, kayak lessons, water demonstrations, a Bicentennial Duathlon, outdoor expo, food and more.
The Jackson County Bicentennial Duathlon will begin at 8 a.m. on Front Beach with a 2 mile run along the beach to the bridge and back, a 2 mile kayak in the gulf, followed by another 2 mile run along the beach. Registration will be on-site only and will begin at 7 a.m. Kayak rentals are available with advanced notice.
Coastal Kayaking 101 will be offered from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. along the beach front for those wanting to learn to kayak or those that need a refresher. The class will be taught by South Coast Paddling and pre-registration is required.
Live music by “Oak Street Boys” will begin at 10 a.m. followed by “In Blind Pursuit” at 2 p.m. on the main stage at Fort Maurepas Park. Door prizes at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. will also be a part of the festivities. Stop in for a chance to win a Yeti Cooler or raffle for a Vapor Recreational Kayak, along with many other drawings. The drawing for the Kayak will be at 4 p.m.
Many vendors will be on-site for the expo between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. including Everything Kayak, South Coast Paddling Company, Run ‘n’ Tri and Board Works, manufacturer of the stand up paddle board.
Good food and drink will be available for purchase from The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint, with their world famous pulled pork sandwiches and wings with fresh fruit on the menu. Sno Bizz will have fresh fruit sno-cones. Miller 64 will be on site and more. Visit the Miller 64 beer tent and help raise dollars for the Mississippi Wildlife Federation. Get your taste buds going with morning coffee from Coffee Fusion and snacks from Tato-Nut and Anthony’s, while samples last.
A children’s area will be set up with activities offered from the Land Trust, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Department of Marine Resources, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art and more. Activities are free for children.
The event is free to spectators, but attendees must pre-register for the Duathlon and kayak lessons. Proceeds from the festival will benefit local clean water and habitat programs of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation.
For more information on the Fort Maurepas Kayak Festival, contact South Coast Paddling Company at 228-872-2030 or visit the SummerFest website at www.SouthCoastSummerFest.com.