PHOTOS: A SUPer day of paddleboarding at Pearl Lake Festival in North Routt
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The boat ramp at Pearl Lake State Park was crowded Saturday with dogs sitting on the bow of stand-up paddleboards, kids balancing three to a board and SUP-ers paddling by the reflection of the pines.
The second annual Pearl Lake Festival brought vendors and paddleboarders out to the lake to participate in races and enjoy a day on the lake.
“The goal is just to enjoy the lake, be festive and get some people out that wouldn’t ever do it,” said Danny Tebbenkamp, owner of Paddleboard Adventure Company.
The festival, coordinated by Tebbenkamp and his staff, featured paddleboard races and competitions, including solo and tandem races, paddleboard sprints and tug-of-war on the SUPsquatch, a mega-paddleboard anchored about 20 feet out from shore.
“You get a challenge that’s not like other races because you’re keeping your balance as well as you’ve got to breathe and work real hard,” said Charlie Chase, a trainer at Genetic Synergy. Chase participated in several competitions Saturday. Chase and Kirsten Ames led free SUP yoga classes throughout the day.
All entry fees into the competitions were donated to Colorado Parks and Wildlife in hopes of benefitting Pearl Lake. Vendors, including Mountain Tap Brewery, Yampy’s, Steamboat Paletas and Clyde’s Pies, were also encouraged to donate. A sign on Mountain Tap’s keg said the business would donate all of the day’s proceeds to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Vendors also donated prizes to award race winners.
“It’s just so much fun to see people come out,” Chase said. “It’s fun, but it’s a neat cause — to help out the parks system.”
Tebbenkamp hopes the festival becomes a regular event during the first weekend in August. “We want to grow it,” he said. “But we also like that it’s local right now.”
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This first year of the Yampa River Fund has been a whirlwind and one of great anticipation of the things to come.