Update: Coronavirus situation forces Friends to cancel participation in Canoecopia, “World’s largest paddlesports show” in Madison, March 13-15

Update: With regret, Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore will not be attending Canoecopia this week. In making the decision, one Executive Board member said, “While the number of detected cases in WI is low, there are likely many undiagnosed cases. It is my feeling that elective large group gatherings should be postponed. Much of the onus to mitigate the effects of the disease are falling on the public and people’s willingness to self impose social distancing. We all are susceptible to the disease and perhaps more importantly may be vectors to our own families and communities.”

Hours after the Friends board made its decision, Canoecopia organizers cancelled the entire event and issued the following statement:

“It is with a very heavy heart that we announce that we have cancelled Canoecopia 2020. We have spent a lot of time weighing the choices, and this decision was based on the warnings and strong recommendations that have come out in recent hours regarding COVID-19. We will really miss you all this year, and we hope to see you at Canoecopia next year – March 12-14, 2021. We greatly appreciate the support of our paddling family.”

We join our the organizers in looking forward to sharing our love for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore at the 2021 Canoecopia event.

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Thousands of paddlers of all abilities flock to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin every March to kick off the paddling season in style. Canoecopia is part shopping – with a vast show floor, part education – with dozens of amazing presenters, and part inspiration while we wait for the ice to melt.

It’s three days of fun and excitement, whether you’re into kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding or you simply want to give it a try.

Friends of the Apostle Islands and our partners from the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore will share a booth on the concourse outside of the show floor. We’ll be offering our artist series of prints and special 50th Anniversary commemorative merchandise for sale, with proceeds benefiting the park.

You’ll be able to meet the photographers behind the images and learn how you can join the Friends during the special year-long celebration.

Among the presentations: Interpretive Ranger Steve Ballou of the National Park Service presents “Paddling the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore,” Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 in the Superior room. Steve launched a kayak ranger program and will offer tips to start planning your next trip to the islands, as we celebrate 50 years of the the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

Bayfield-area businesses are joining us in celebrating the park’s 50th Anniversary too. Lisa from Silverwaves Jewelry has developed some pieces inspired by the park’s milestone year. You’ll find her booth on the show floor.

Washburn-based Bemused Design & Photography will be offering two amazing 50th Anniversary posters. We’ll have some for sale at our booth as well.

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