In an earlier post, I mentioned the General Clinton Canoe Regatta held every Memorial Day weekend, in Bainbridge, NY. The Canoe Regatta is the biggest event for the sleepy little town of historic Bainbridge. (By the way, Mormon-founder Joseph Smith was run out of this town for corrupting public morals; Jedediah Smith (not related), that famous Mountain Man, was born here). I lived in Bainbridge for a few years, and am quite familiar with the town and events.
The canoe race down the famous Susquehanna River is the 70-mile grueling race from Otsego Lake in Cooperstown to the finish line in Bainbridge. It’s the longest single day flat water canoe race in the world, and is part of the North American Triple Crown of Canoeing. The races draw upwards of 3,000 paddlers competing for the cash prize.
The General Clinton Park in Bainbridge has a weekend of amusement rides, concession stands, music, and more. The race on Monday is the climax of the weekend. When I lived in the area, I worked for a local radio station that did a live remote– boy, was that fun! The catch phrase for the race was “Float Your Fanny Down the Susquehanny”!! LOL
The last time I visited the town, I took the kids for a drive in June 2006. Our visit was just a day before the historic, torrential rains flooded the entire Southern Tier. The Susquehanna River rose to 27 feet, 14 feet over it’s flood stage mark. Bainbridge homes saw upwards of eight feet of water, and the county was one of many declared a state disaster area. People are still rebuilding. In the photos below, you can see how swollen the Susquehanna River is before the flooding rains even began. We noticed how high the river was running and how soggy the ground was. Little did we know that everything we were walking on would soon be under water!
I’m contemplating driving to Bainbridge again, to see the Regatta races. I’ll be sure to let you know if I do!
Canoe photo courtesy of the canoeregatta.org website.