LEWISTON — Local kayakers are planning a Balloon Festival procession upriver to the foot of the falls on Aug. 22, immediately after the street parade.

Organizers from the Androscoggin River Watershed Council will lead kayakers, canoers and other human-powered boats into the river, from Festival Plaza to the base of the falls and down to New Auburn.

“We’re inviting people to decorate themselves or their boats if they want,” said Fergus Lea, one of the organizers. “But we’ll be just as happy if they just show up. Just being there, having as many people as possible in the water, will have a dramatic visual effect by itself.”

Boaters will set off from Auburn’s Festival Plaza boat launch at 12:30 p.m. They’ll paddle upstream to the Great Falls and then ride the river downstream under the pedestrian bridge connecting Lewiston and Auburn. Then they’ll paddle back upstream to Festival Plaza.

Watershed council organizers also have planned morning and evening paddles during the balloon launches. For more information, visit the group’s Web site at www.androscogginwatershed.org.

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