For the last 56 years, people from the Southern Tier and beyond have welcomed the unofficial start of summer with the General Clinton Canoe Regatta and the upcoming Memorial Day weekend will be no different.

If you’re not familiar with the General Clinton Canoe Regatta, here’s a little history: 56 years ago, in 1963, two canoes traveled down the Susquehanna from Cooperstown to Bainbridge on a trip that took 18 hours and 25 minutes. Then, the very first canoe race was held on July 4th of 1963 with 45 participants. The winner that year completed the trip in 11 hours and 45 minutes.

The General Clinton Canoe Regatta isn't just a race to see who can travel down the Susquehanna in a canoe the fastest.  The regatta has grown from a one-day event to a four-day event with someone for everyone in the family including canoe races as well as a 5k run, wrestling tourney, food, fireworks, carnival rides, a weekend-long flea market and more.

The 2018 General Clinton Canoe Regatta will be held Friday, May 25th through Memorial Day, Monday, May 28th, so get yourself to Bainbridge and then follow the traffic to the regatta. It’s sure to be a fun weekend for everyone in your family!

[via Canoe Regatta]

*If you're planning to participate in the General Clinton Canoe Regatta, the start line for the 70-mile races will be located at Brookwood Point which has better parking and easier access to Otsego Lake.