Previous Paddlefest

There won’t be crowds or competition this Memorial Day weekend for the first time in two decades, but plenty of entertainment will be offered online at the virtual CKS Paddlefest in Buena Vista.

Buena Vista – Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer season in Buena Vista, beginning with CKS Paddlefest, although this year’s Paddlefest isn’t traditional.

The river sports celebration will be going virtual this year, hosting film screenings throughout the weekend on its website and Facebook pages.

The weekend begins today with its Women’s Adventure Tour film screenings from 4-8 p.m., by elevateHER, Buena Vista’s favorite nonprofit (as voted by Times readers) and Paddlefest’s prime beneficiary.

Friday’s content includes kayaking instruction from the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center, a look at Colorado whitewater parks, river surfing with Mike Harvey and stand-up paddleboard manufacturer Badfish, and part 1 of a three-part virtual tour of the Elevation Beer Co. facility in Poncha Springs, guided by brewer Alan Stevens.

Paddlefest will also host a Q&A with Darcy Gaetcher about her memoir “Amazon Woman,” which chronicles her 148-day journey kayaking the entirety of the world’s largest river, becoming the first woman known to do so.

At 6 p.m. Friday, a Chaffee for Chaffee virtual relief concert for Chaffee County creatives will take place.

Saturday brings the outside indoors with a “virtual vertical run” with categories based on elevation profiles of Collegiate Peaks fourteeners and a virtual Yucca Classic Disc Golf Challenge.

Later in the day, Paddlefest will host conversations with members of American Whitewater on protecting the Arkansas River and with athletes from Jackson Kayak, as well as “This Land,” a short film about public lands conservation.

Sunday closes the virtual festival with Famagogo’s European Paddling Van Tour and the final segment of the Elevation Beer Co. tour.

The full schedule can be found at and at Paddlefest’s Facebook page.

The Chaffee County Times in Buena Vista is published by Arkansas Valley Publishing Co., parent company of The Mountain Mail.