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DeFuniak Springs LakeFest- AKA Everybody Paddles- Kayak, Canoe, SUP

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DeFuniak Springs, Lake Defuniak

1140 circle drive

DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435

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ABOUT LAKE FEST

LakeFest is an annual festival hosted by the City of DeFuniak Springs and held the third weekend in May on the banks and on the water of beautiful Lake DeFuniak in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. This perfectly-round spring-fed lake is one mile in circumference and is the centerpiece of the City’s historic district – a district mostly comprised of a once-gated resort opened in 1885 for the annual Florida Chautauqua Assemblies lasting until 1927. The lake provided the venue for recreational activities of the Florida Chautauqua resort/campus such as canoeing, swimming and boating excursions while many of the unique structures on the bank of Lake DeFuniak provided for classes, speeches and sessions in the areas of art, education and religion. The train depot near the lake served as the main gate onto the campus which once included a grand hotel to house the many of the 4,000 people a day who once coveted this unique piece of American culture and history.

Today, the resort grounds are on the National Registry of Historic Places where most of the structures, cottages and majestic homes were built during the Victorian era to comprise the campus once marketed as “The Education Resort of the South.” The lake remains the centerpiece of this charming community.

In 2014, Mayor Bob Campbell, in partnership with numerous volunteers and organizational leaders, conceptualized and hosted the first LakeFest Festival to bring another quality event to DeFuniak Springs for families to enjoy. Roughly 2,500 people attended that year, and the event has grown ever since by recreational tourists. The event today is comprised of canoe, kayak, paddle board and cardboard boat races, water slides, kids’ activities, live entertainment, a car show, food and craft vendors and educational exhibits relating to safe recreational activities on the water.

ABOUT EVERYBODY PADDLES

The American Kayaking Association is proud to introduce our national initiative, Everybody Paddles! The AKA is dedicated to providing all-inclusive paddle sports programs & opportunities to all persons in the community by eliminating barriers to participation. It is our belief that every person has the right to enjoy nature's gifts and the opportunity to live a healthy and active outdoor lifestyle. Through our American Canoe Association instructor certifications, we are qualified to offer paddle sports programming to any demographic and work with all participant ages and skill levels as well as those with a disability. With our certifications and programs, we can proudly serve anyone in the community who wants to get outside, get active and enjoy the abundance of natural resources in our area parks and on our rivers and waterways.

The American Kayaking Association will be hosting level 1 paddle sports safety education courses all day during the festival. These courses are designed for beginner paddlers to learn basic skills and safe practices necessary for a fun day on the water. All ages and ability levels welcome. This is a first come, first serve event. Those with tickets will be served first to the front of the line.

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DeFuniak Springs, Lake Defuniak

1140 circle drive

DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435

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