River Rally: Canalway Partners to celebrate Cuyahoga River this weekend

Canalway Partners will celebrate the beauty, the preservation progress, and the recreational and lifestyle enhancements of the Cuyahoga River this Saturday, June 19 at Hart Crane Memorial Park in the Flats.

Cuyahoga River Rally, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. offers a full day of fun along the river. Activities include complimentary river tours by boat, bike, kayak, and foot, along with live music, outdoor yoga classes, and a festival village filled with hands-on activities. 

Additionally, Phastar Corporation is bringing the Putzfrau—the “cleaning lady”—to the Cuyahoga River Rally. The vessel is known for its role in that 1970s cleanup of the Cuyahoga. Rally attendees will be able to see the boat from the park, learn about its restoration efforts, and its current role keeping the river clean and as an education center

"Canalway Partners coordinated the Cuyahoga River Rally to celebrate how far the river has come as a source of environmental renewal and recreation,” says Mera Cardenas, Canalway Partners executive director. We hope people connect to the river in new ways or just enjoy the benefits, the ‘blue mind,’ that comes from being near water.”

Here’s a rundown of the Rally activities on Saturday:

Where the River Burned Bike Tour, 12pm and 2:30 p.m.
Join Jim Sheehan and the Ohio City Bike Co-Op team for a five-mile guided “Where the River Burned” bike tour. On the tour you’ll learn about the Cuyahoga River Fires, the comeback of a river left for dead, and the history of Cleveland’s Industrial Valley. 

The ride starts at Hart Crane Park and makes tour stops at Irishtown Bend, Canal Basin Park, Fire Station #21, Sokolowski’s Overlook, 1952 fire overlook, Collision Bend overlook, and returns to Hart Crane Park. Bikes are not provided.
Walking Tour of the Lower Cuyahoga River Area of Concern (AOC), 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.  Bill Hughes and Tom Rayburn of the Cuyahoga River Area of Concern Advisory Committee will lead a scenic walk along the Lower Cuyahoga River AOC on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. The journey will start and finish at Hart Crane Park as it winds up the Crooked River, pausing to observe areas where river restoration actions have been implemented.

Examples include areas where fish habitat has been installed within the shipping channel, erosion has been remediated along the riverbanks with best management practices, and public access points have been established.

Kayak River Clean Up with Trash Fish, 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
At least five days a week, Eddie “Trash Fish” Olschansky can be found in his kayak on the Cuyahoga River, trash grabber in hand. Bring your Kayak to Cuyahoga River Rally and join Trash Fish in a fun and rewarding morning river clean-up session sponsored by Canalway Partners. Buckets and trash grabbers provided.

Guided Kayak Cuyahoga River History Tour, 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Join Peter Bode of West Creek Conservancy and Jordyn Stoll of AOC Outreach Committee on a kayak trip down the Cuyahoga. As you paddle and float, you’ll learn about the history of the river, current projects and plans and you can help in restoring and improving Cuyahoga River water quality conditions.

 Holiday Boat River History Ride, 2 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Join Canalway Partners on Holiday Boat Charters tour boat for a complimentary 30-minute river history boat ride. Tim Donovan will be your tour host, sharing fascinating facts about Cuyahoga River history and Cleveland’s developments. The Holiday is one of Cleveland’s premier private, custom cruise providers. Since 1982 Holiday Boat Charters has been creating memorable experiences for Clevelanders on its 65-foot, steel hulled vessel.
Paddle with your pals, 4 p.m.Join a group paddle with a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. Costumes encouraged! Need something to splash up your paddle style? Upcycle Parts Shop will be at Hart Crane Park from 1-3 PM with their Upcycle Buffet to help you create the perfect costume.

Live music
Liz Kelly, 12:30 p.m.
Jul Big Green, 1:45 p.m.
Eric Levine Band, 3 p.m.  
Front Porch Lights. 4:15 p.m.

Adult Yoga,9:30 a.m.
Family Yoga, 11 a.m.Hosted by OneTreeLove 

“The Cuyahoga River is the source of our economic and community health and clean water is more important than ever,” says Cardenas. “We’re really thankful for all the partners who answered the call for the celebration to host tours and share the history and vitality of the river—both on and off the water."

Tickets are not required for admission, however, advance free registration is required for all tours. In the event the tours reach capacity online, a day of event stand-by line will be available for those on-site.

Kayaks are not provided for tours. Advance kayak rentals for Cuyahoga River Rally activities are available through Burning River Adventures, (330) 969-BOAT. If reserving by phone, mention “Cuyahoga River Rally”to ensure proper delivery. Pre-reserved kayaks and life jackets will be delivered to Hart Crane Park. Reservations must be made by Friday, June 18 at 12 p.m.