LEWISTON — The Androscoggin Land Trust is teaming up with the Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Baxter Brewing to host the annual Canoe & Kayak River Race in 2021.

For the last four years, the Androscoggin Land Trust has hosted the Canoe & Kayak River Race, its largest event of the year, and has scheduled it to coincide with the Great Falls Brewfest.

The fifth annual river race was originally scheduled for June 27, 2020, but was postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus and the state limiting the size of crowds throughout the summer as part of its plan to restart Maine’s economy.

Shanna Cox, president and CEO of the chamber, said that the partnership between the Androscoggin Land Trust, Baxter Brewing and the chamber will help “highlight (Lewiston and Auburn’s) best assets, and provide a weekend-long boost to our local restaurants and hotels.”

Cox added that the new partnership would encourage race participants to stick around in Lewiston and Auburn for the entire weekend of the race and Brewfest and experience the local restaurants and small businesses.

Meredith Carson, the chamber’s marketing and communications director, said that in past years, the Androscoggin Land Trust would check with the Great Falls Brewfest to make sure the events would land on the same weekend, but the collaboration ended there.

“I think all three of us being involved will make the event more cohesive and help us create a collective communal weekend event,” Carson explained. “The chamber can work with its members and work with the businesses and hotels in our region to create weekend stay-and-play packages for racers and people attending the Brewfest.”

Carson said Adam Platz, director of the Great Falls Brewfest, “likes to start selling tickets for his event sooner rather than later.”

“Right now, (the chamber) is planning to launch ticket sales when Baxter starts selling tickets,” Carson said.

Until then, Carson said all three organization will look to build excitement for the event over the summer of 2020 and heading into 2021 by sharing pictures of former races on social media and engaging with racers “to build some excitement.”

Androscoggin Land Trust President Dana Little said that “we know partnering with the chamber will bring event planning capacity and invite innovative ideas while allowing our staff and board to continue to contribute our years of experience planning river-based events.”

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