Time for the Canoe Races!

The canoe races are just around the corner, and I feel like I am in a race for time. I'm not training to paddle, but I am trying to finish a project. In addition to racing, the evening of fun includes a raffle and silent auction. I am working on a pair of hand knit socks to donate...and they are not done!

But that's not important. What is important, though, is to tell you about all of the fun of the races. This is a fund-raiser for the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department, and it has been happening for more years than I have been around the trail. In my early days up here, the races were held every other week, and hosted by different lakes. In the last several years, the Gunflint Lake homeowners have teamed up with the Seagull-Sag homeowners to put on a full evening of entertainment for the whole family. There are minnow races and games for children, a delicious sloppy joe dinner, some contests, and of course, the action of the races themselves. Three categories of races are included: the regular paddling, backwards paddling, and the broken paddle race. After those have concluded, there is gunnel-pumping, where the racer stands on the back of the canoe's gunnels and propels the watercraft forward by pumping with the legs. It's a hilarious race to watch, with many people ending up in the water. Overall, the whole gathering is a great time to socialize, cheer on the racers, and support the fire department.

But back to the raffle and auction. Each year, the organizers collect many donations of prizes, from gift certificates to handmade items, and put these all on display for the attendees to peruse, and possibly win. The collection is amazing. Sometimes we've been fortunate enough to win a few of the items. It's a lot of fun to hear the names of our friends and neighbors called out, and to watch them go up to collect their prizes. The evening is capped off with the big raffle, a Wenonah canoe.

Tickets are available now at several of the businesses, and you can purchase them on the night of the raffle as well. Put it on your calendars to attend, this Wednesday, July 21, as it is a wonderful evening.