Night Kayaking in Costumes

Wonder Woman and a boy of about 11 paddled by on light-bedecked standup boards. “He’s never done this before” Wonder Woman shouted proudly. From their also light-bedecked kayaks, Green Lantern, Poison Ivy, and the Joker cheered.

This was a scene from a free event called “Light Up the Night” kayaking in Stratford, Ontario. Folks meet monthly around 8:30pm to paddle together after decorating their non-motorized water craft with lights. There’s also an optional theme for each outing, including Canada Day, Romantic Evening, and (of course) Superheroes.

It was silly fun to transform this daytime activity into a water-based costume parade of about 40-50 “floats.” I should mention our audience: because we were in town, folks watched and took pictures from the banks of the Avon River as they picnicked or waited for their theatre show.

Participants were instructed to put in before dusk, then paddle together at the same time around a tiny island. So while it was a very leisurely pace, we did end up paddling for quite a while as it got dark. Here is part of my friend’s recorded route.

We were to paddle around the island 3 times, but because we dressed as superheroes and supervillains, we had the strength to do a 4th.

A few of our friends supporting this silliness took pictures from atop the island bridge while we paddled underneath. Afterwards, folks shared their snaps on the group’s Facebook page. Alan Hamberg used a drone to capture in video the paddle as well.

Kayaks and other watercraft on the Avon at Stratford as night falls.
Screen capture of drone footage of light up the night kayaking. The video is available on the FB group.

Overall, this night kayaking event offered outside activity, happy folks, and lots of pretty lights! Next time, my friends and I will likely picnic again before decorating our kayaks, as doing so made the activity into a whole fun evening. We’ll bring bug spray and headlamps for re-packing kayaks in the dark. I may also buy better quality lights and avoid the dollar store glow sticks that ended up glowing in my garbage the next day.

FIFI bloggers: what silly summer fun will you get up to and share about?!

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