About Paddlefest

What is Paddlefest?

Paddlefest is a celebration of the Slave River, one of the world’s best lesser-known whitewater paddling destinations. In Fort Smith, we are blessed to have access to this beautiful and mighty river, where pelicans and paddlers of all skill levels come to play in the world-class whitewater for the August long weekend.

Paddlefest includes all kinds of fun events like flat-water canoe races (tandem and voyageur), guided hikes, kids paddling games, whitewater kayak rodeos and races (beginner and advanced), stand-up paddleboard jousting, a beach-themed party, awards dinners, amazing food, and more!

Participate in Paddlefest

Whether you've never paddled before, you're an experienced paddler, or just want to watch, Paddlefest has events for everyone to enjoy!


Everyone is welcome to watch and show support for paddlers! Spectator passes include entry to all non-water events, including the awards dinner and beach party.


You can register as a paddler for the whole weekend or just the Flatwater Friday events.


Check out some of the fun activities we feature annually at Paddlefest!



Send in your Paddlefest snaps and you could win!