LACONIA — There's an unofficial new Guinness World Record for LakeFest attendees to beat this Saturday, September 7, at Weirs Beach's Endicott Rock Park in Laconia.
Over Labor Day weekend, Floatilla in Suttons Bay, MI logged 2,099 canoes and kayaks in their record-attempting raft. While that's unlikely to be their final official count due to a banned powerboat in the float's midst, organizers are increasing the LakeFest free floating raft goal – just to be sure.
LakeFest: Hands Across the Water is a family-friendly educational and entertainment event highlighted by a Guinness World Record attempt for largest free floating raft of canoes and kayaks. The NH Lakes Association (NH LAKES) now aims to get 2,100 canoes and kayaks into the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee to break the current official record of 1,902 boats (held by One Square Mile of Hope in NY) and possible new record of 2,099 canoes and kayaks set at Suttons Bay, MI over Labor Day weekend.
Registration opens at 7 a.m. on Saturday, September 7, and the Guinness World Record raft attempt is at approximately 10 a.m. LakeFest attendees will launch from three official sites: boat ramp in downtown Meredith, Akwa Marina (pick-up location for all canoe and kayak rentals reserved online), and Weirs Beach (Endicott Rock Park).
Participants interested in paddling from Meredith Bay who need boat rentals can contact EKAL at 603.677.8646. Paddlers who pre-register for rentals at www.nhlakefest.org will pick up their canoe and kayak rentals at Awka Marina in Weirs Beach. Event attendees who have their own canoes and kayaks can take advantage of early bird drop-off and check-in at Endicott Rock Park in Weirs Beach on Friday, September 6 from noon through 7 p.m.
The free on-land Festival opens mid-morning on Saturday, September 7 and runs through 4 p.m. at Weirs Beach's Endicott Rock Park.
Online registration to participate in the Guinness World Record attempt is available at www.nhlakefest.org for just $20 per canoe or kayak. Reasonably priced canoe and kayak rental options are available by pre-registering online by Fri. 9/6 at noon; reserved boats will be available for pick-up the morning of Saturday, September 7 at the Awka Marina launch site in Weirs Beach. All online registrants are automatically entered to win a bounty of great prizes and getaways provided by generous LakeFest supporters.
On land, the public is welcome to enjoy the free Festival that runs morning through 4 p.m. Attendees will hear a lineup of great live music; The O'Brien Clan Band and The Floods will delight listeners. Family-friendly activities include storytelling, LakeFest bingo, kayak limbo, and more. There will be food vendors and educational exhibits, in addition to boats and other watersport gear for sale. Raffle tickets for a brand new 12' Dirigo Old Town kayak with paddle and PFD will be available for just $5 each or 5 for $20 at NH LAKES' tent in the Festival area.
Through its Lake Host program, NH LAKES has spent the past 12 years inspecting watercraft for plant fragments at boat ramps around the state for and zebra mussels and other invasive species.
Since 2002, hundreds of paid and volunteer Lake Hosts have conducted more than 505,000 courtesy boat inspections and have made more than 1,256 "saves" of aquatic nuisance plant fragments that were about to enter or had just left a waterbody.