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12th Charles City Challenge Whitewater Festival Starts Friday (05.31)

In celebration of Iowa’s first whitewater course, the Charles City Challenge Whitewater Festival is set to return to the Cedar River this weekend for its 12th annual event.

Winner of an Iowa Tourism Award for Outstanding Event, the Charles City Challenge draws kayakers and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) talent from across Iowa and the Midwest. 

Friday (05.31) is a practice day, which includes free river surfing clinics with Bob Pittman of Charles City High School hosting a youth clinic from noon to 2 pm and adult clinic from 4 to 6 pm. Pittman says he’ll also be around for drop-in lessons as well, but more than just your swimsuit is required.

Pittman adds that they’ll also have a supply of helmets and other equipment needed to surf the Cedar. 

Registration begins at 9 am Saturday (06.01) morning for competitive events including river surfing, slalom cross and the kayak rodeo.

While event categories run from beginner to advanced skills, Ginger Williams with the Chamber of Commerce says there are also opportunities for non-competitors to enjoy some time on the water.

There’s also “Sunday Funday” paddling on Sunday. 

Find more details and information at or Charles City Whitewater on Facebook.

Mark Pitz

News Director/Weekdays 10am to 2pm on 95.9 KCHA
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