After a four-year hiatus, Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe is bringing back its beloved, long-running event, Pickin' and Paddlin'. The event started as a way to raise funds for Bend Paddle Trail Alliance, an organization that works to enhance river recreation and appreciation. People are invited to celebrate by the Deschutes River with live music, beer and food carts.
A statement on Tumalo Creek's website expressed the organization's excitement about the upcoming event. "Our last event was amazing! So many smiling faces and dancing bodies that we just couldn't help ourselves but do it all over again." This year's event is featuring three artists for participants to listen and dance to.
Seattle-based, dance string band, The Warren G. Hardings, is headlining the event with its up-tempo bluegrass music. Sharing the stage is folk rock artist Joel Chadd and Sagebrush Revivals.
Tumalo Creek is a locally owned business that offers paddle gear and experiences, from retail and rentals, to tours and classes. Bend Paddle Trail Alliance, its beneficiary, helps fund several important river projects, including the Bend Whitewater Park and multiple river safety campaigns.
According to Geoff Frank, the owner of Tumalo Creek, the idea started with river volunteering. Tumalo Creek would organize a long river float where participants would conduct river cleanups or draw attention to signage and access points. After paddling, Frank said, everyone always gathered for a barbecue and music.
"We realized that people liked coming out and listening to music on the back lawn and talking about river advocacy and river projects," Frank said. "So, that's when Pickin' and Paddlin' got going."
The business reintroduced the Pickin' and Paddlin' in June with a smaller event. It's organizing the larger event to give people another chance to enjoy the outdoor music and fun. Each year was well-attended, with about 400-500 people at the 2019 event, according to Keoni Chung, Tumalo Creek's retail store manager.
In recent years, Tumalo Creek was forced to cancel its event during Covid, hoping to continue as soon as possible. Last year, Tumalo Creek tried to get another Pickin' and Paddlin' back on the calendar. According to Chung, the event did not happen since it conflicted with a Hayden Homes Amphitheater concert.
Pickin' and Paddlin' will sell beer tickets and offer guests a variety of food truck options. For a sustainable evening, Frank encourages guests to ride bikes to the event and bring a cup for their beverages. The venue will have bike racks in the grass next to the event entrance. Tickets to Pickin' and Paddlin' are available for purchase online at Tumalo Creek's website.