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Charles City Whitewater Challenge and more back on Saturday, June 22

Charles City Whitewater Challenge and more back on Saturday, June 22
A photo from the 2018 Charles City Whitewater Challenge.
To The Press

Paddlers will be gathering at the state’s first whitewater course later this month for the 8th annual Charles City Challenge Whitewater Festival.

The festival, to be held Saturday, June 22, was the winner of an Iowa Tourism Award for Outstanding Event. It is expected again this year to attract kayakers and stand up paddleboard (SUP) talent from across Iowa and the Midwest.

Scheduled events include Kayak Boater X, SUP X, Kayak Rodeo, River Surf Competition and more.

Opportunities for open boating will allow river enthusiasts of all skill levels to experience the course, and there will be a River Surfing Clinic from 4 to 6 p.m. that day following the whitewater events.

Registration for the scheduled events will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 22, at the band shell near the Charles City Public Library. Paddling events are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and will run consecutively until finished.

Medals will be awarded to top place finishers, and food and beverage vendors will be on site.

New this year, the Hooligan River Run will invite teams to float inner tubes, inflatable rafts or cardboard boats through the course for fastest time and most creative entry.

This contest is free to enter and open to the public. Teams can pre-register at the Chamber office or sign up on the day of the event.

Additional activities taking place on Saturday include the PAWS Dog Jog, a Friends of the Library Book Walk, a special Al Fresco Paint & Take Class with the Rustic Corner and Art Box Painting, numerous children’s activities and the Smoke on the Cedar BBQ Competition.

A detailed listing of these and other community events can be found by viewing the calendar of events at

Charles City Whitewater at Riverfront Park encompasses 11 acres of water with three world-class whitewater features. The surrounding Riverfront Park includes 23 acres including a handicapped-accessible boat launch, disc golf course, natural play area, amphitheater, storm water fountain, labyrinth, picnic shelters and access to the community’s paved recreational trails.

Charles City will also host the Iowa Games whitewater slalom competition on June 29 and a share and practice rescue skills day on June 30.

The Charles City Challenge is a function of the Charles City Area Chamber of Commerce. For registration forms and more information visit or contact the Charles City Area Chamber of Commerce at 641-228-4234, or email