Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Earthfest 2014
by Martin W.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Hello HRCKC membership;

I just want to thank Jeff Bowen, Monica Orso, Peter Walker, Catherine Marcial, Richard Karp, Phil Brown and Deb for helping out staffing our booth at the Overpeck Earthfest on Saturday. I was getting bit nervous for a few days before the event when no one had volunteered for booth staffing duty, but the above members gallantly came through.

The Earthfest 2014 turned out to be very nice (and indeed festive, I might add) with plenty of the general public attending. The Hackensack Riverkeeper did an excellent job with hosting this event and hopefully this will be back again in the future years. We hardily thank them for inviting the HRCKC to have a booth there.

I had gotten there a bit after 7:30am with a truckload of our displays, tent, tables, etc. After a minor snafu with the county personnel pertaining to where the exhibitors should set up, Jeff and I finally got the booth set up. The winds were brutal in the morning necessitating the driving of massive circus tent stakes and use of heavy ropes and a multitude of woodworking clamps and several miles of duck tape to keep the canopies, tables and displays from flying off somewhere over to Staten Island. The restored vintage 1936 Old Town wood/canvas canoe I brought was quite a hit with the public with many asking "Oh, what a beautiful canoe. Does this thing actually float? How do they build them?" I, your's truely... yes - me, was even asked to pose for a photograph with Miss New York (no, not Miss New York - 1927, but Miss New York - 2014) in front of the canoe! See that you kayakers.. canoeists are so much sexier.

The strong winds kept down the paddling out on the creek, but a bit later on in the day the winds subsided a little and you did see some paddlers out there for a time. We had a live gray wolf exhibit on one side of our booth and a bat conservation organization on the other side. Gadzooks! Werewolves and Vampires on all sides.

"Surprisingly" it seems the beer garden was quite a hit with the public - oh, did I mention "Beer Garden" in my e-mail requests for booth volunteers last week? Music provided by the bands in the Amphitheater was very good - until my eardrums started to bleed (hint for next year... please turn down the amps a bit). There was a time where it was literally impossible to communicate with the public. Unfortunately the festival was cut short when the storm clouds started to roll in, the winds picked up again and it started to rain. All the vendors and exhibitors quickly packed up and called it a day by around 4:30pm. Only the beer garden was still packed with folks.

We did get a few new members from this event with many more showing interest in the HRCKC and taking our flyers. I believe these local events are a good source of new members and we should try get involved with others in the area. Maybe we can get some of the younger folks to join our club. The "age" bell curve for our membership has been slowly moving to the right as of late!

Again, I thank those members who volunteered their time and efforts with this event. As always, without volunteers such as these the HRCKC wouldn't exist.

Oh well. Got'ta run now, folks! I don't want to be late for my date with Miss New York.