LakeFest on-land festival expands to include arts, Watershed Warriors, live music, vendors + more… Raft-a-Palooza pre-registration tops 2013 turnout with 20 days to go

On Sunday, August 3rd, NH LAKES’ LakeFest 2014: Raft-a-Palooza, presented by Binnie Media, will take over Lake Winnipesaukee’s Endicott Rock Park in Laconia in the hunt for Guinness gold. Raft-a-Palooza is an attempt to capture the Guinness World Record for the largest free floating raft of canoes and kayaks; pre-registration numbers have already surpassed 2013 attendance. Organizers have their sights set on more than 2,100 boats; the current Guinness World Record is 2,099 boats set by Sutton’s Bay Floatilla in Michigan. Through July 31st, Raft-a-Palooza “Last Chance to Save” registration is just $15 per boat; online registration for individuals and teams is simple and fast at www.nhlakefest.org. All boaters registered by July 31st will be automatically entered to win a kayak from LL Bean in West Lebanon, NH, and an overnight getaway from The Common Man.

Raft-a-Palooza attracts paddlers of all ages and levels of experience. Reasonably priced boat rentals are available during online registration: single kayak ($30), canoe ($40), tandem (2-person) kayak ($45). Reserved rental boats will be available for on-the-beach pick up.

Those wishing to beat the crowds and extend the fun can take advantage of early bird check-in and boat drop on Saturday, August 2nd. Raft-a-Palooza attendees can get a special discount on the M/S Mount Washington’s 12:30 pm party cruise on 8/2, presented by Harpoon Brewery and Binnie Media; 2 for $40 pricing is available by visiting www.nhlakefest.org.

Sunday, August 3rd promises to be an exciting day on Lake Winnipesaukee. An expanded free, family-friendly festival will spread across Endicott Rock Park at Weirs Beach, featuring the kid-friendly Watershed Warriors education circuit, nonprofit exhibitors, special 2014 LakeFest patches for the first 100 kids who visit the NH LAKES booth after raft up, and live music. Andy Opel, author of Winnipesauke- based children’s books The Weirs and The Witches will meet with readers, as will Ronald Guilmette, coauthor of Islands of Winnipesaukee. A new Arts Market will join the mix, curated by Granite State Arts Market, and the New Hampshire Boat Museum will be onsite with a display. Attendees can purchase modern day canoes and kayaks in the vendor area. Food vendors will include Traveling Texas Smoke Shop, Del’s Kitchen, and Dog Days of Summer Ice Cream.

In addition to offering a fun-filled day of paddling and on-shore entertainment, LakeFest also educates the boating public about the vital Clean, Drain & Dry! technique to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Funds raised through LakeFest 2014 directly support NH LAKES’ work to protect local lakes and their watersheds through education and advocacy. Since 2002, hundreds of paid and volunteer NH LAKES Lake Hosts have conducted more than 576,000 courtesy boat inspections and have made more than 1,409 “saves” of aquatic invasive plant fragments that were about to enter or had just left a waterbody.

Take advantage of the $15 per boat Last Chance to Save registration rate through July 31st, and learn more about NH LAKES’ LakeFest 2014: Raft-a-Palooza, presented by Binnie Media, by visiting www.nhlakefest.org or calling 603-226-0299.

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