Levisa Fork Paddlefest makes its way to Dewey Lake

More than 30 kayakers and paddleboarders hit the waters of Dewey Lake on Saturday for the...
More than 30 kayakers and paddleboarders hit the waters of Dewey Lake on Saturday for the Levisa Fork Paddlefest.(WYMT)
Published: Jun. 25, 2022 at 4:05 PM EDT
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WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - The Levisa Fork Paddlefest normally starts on the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River in downtown Prestonsburg, but on June 25, due to low water levels and downed trees on the Levisa Fork, folks hit the waters of Dewey Lake at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park instead.

“It was kind of a happy accident, but something that people have asked for for a really long time,” said Prestonsburg Tourism Executive Director Samantha Johnson. “We didn’t feel like it was completely safe to go out on the river, so we said ‘let’s try it out on the lake’ and so far, everyone seems really really happy about that.”

More than 30 kayakers and paddleboarders hit the water on Saturday morning at 9 a.m., accompanied by rescue boats from the Prestonsburg Fire Department to ensure everyone felt safe while on the three-mile excursion.

The event was capped off with a catered lunch by a local restaurant, and people of all skill levels and ages came out to enjoy the day, explore, and get some exercise.

“It’s just for every skill level and something for families to do, relax and enjoy,” said Johnson, “but also if you want to come out and get a great workout and something totally different, you can also do that too. So it’s really an event where you can make it what you want, and it’s open to all skills.”

Officials were excited about the return of the event for the 2022 season, and said folks from across the state as well as neighboring states came out to enjoy all the area had to offer.

“We have people come in and stay overnight, they go to restaurants, you know the whole thing is, you’ve got to have people a variety of things to do,” said Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton. “So, we’ve got the concert venue, we’ve got the trails, now this is just something added to it, to have in our toolbox for people to come and enjoy.”

Johnson added that the Levisa Fork Paddlefest is planned for every fourth Saturday from May to September, and to check out the Prestonsburg Tourism Facebook page for updates and more information.

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