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Blueway Festival

Tue, November 12, 2019

n Blueway or Bust: Premier paddling festival set for Oct. 23 - Nov. 1 in Lee County The fourth annual Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival is set to showcase kayaking and eco-events along Southwest Florida’s waterways Oct. 23 through Nov. 1. The 10-day festival offers an array of speakers and instruction, cultural and eco festivals, races and fishing events, paddlers’ get-togethers and green activities. Events are at public parks and archeological sites as well as resorts and campgrounds along the Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail, a 190-mile marked-and-meandering saltwater trail that spans the Lee County coast from Bonita Springs to Pine Island and inland to Alva. The festival is part of Islands Fall Fest. Take a staycation and book yourself into a campground right along the trail at a site that includes a guided tour with the Florida Paddling Trail Association to historic Mound Key, an island once inhabited by the Calusa king. Attend the Calusa Costume Ball dressed as a conquistador or sea wench, and then hear ghost stories on a moonlight hike. Local kayakers and canoeists can join in a half dozen evening hospitality events at which prizes will be raffled. Festival attendees also can get competitive. Two canoe/kayak races and a catch-and-release fishing tournament are planned; some have cash prizes. There’s even a competitive geocaching event on the Caloosahatchee. Visitors can give back to the community by joining in a countywide waterway marine debris cleanup called Monofilament Madness. Make a $10 donation to the trail and get a Blueway VIP Wristband to enjoy extra value at more than 80 Southwest Florida attractions, restaurants, galleries, shops and marine/outfitter locations. The festival features daily activities, with emphasis on the Oct. 23-25 and Oct. 29-Nov. 1 weekends. Many activities are free. Call the festival hotline at (239) 823-6335 or see the schedule online at For Islands Fall Fest, go to

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