For only the second time since 1973, the Raisin River Canoe Race has been cancelled. The 2020 edition was nixed due to COVID-19 precautions, following the recommendations of health officials.
The annual rite of spring, hosted by the Raisin Region Conservation Authority, typically takes place in April each year, when the spring water flow in the river is at its peak. This year, it had been slated for April 19. The 30 km run from St. Andrews West downstream to Williamstown traditionally sees well over 100 canoes and kayaks involved, with participants coming from across the region. Some paddlers come for the competition, striving for fast times and medals, while the majority are looking to complete the course without getting too wet and cold. Spills are common, especially at points where there are challenging rocks in the river and rapids. As well, the dam in Martintown is a special part of the race, with many paddlers opting to attempt to shoot it successfully, much to the delight of throngs of spectators who gather there to take in the action.
The last (and only other) cancellation, in 2010, was due to very low water conditions.
Results from past years can be viewed on the RRCA website here.