Kayak Fest officially kicks off at 1:00pm this afternoon, and residents can expect some water and boat launch closures. The Mattagami River Beach and the boat launch will be closed from 8:00am until 6:00pm all weekend. The river itself will be closed to boaters from the Mattagami Bridge to EACOM during the fireworks on Saturday night.

Tourism Timmins Manager Guy Lamarche says drivers can also expect some road closures. The two eastbound lanes on the Mattagami River Bridge will be restricted for emergency vehicles only. This is new this year, and the two lanes will be barricaded on the south side of the bridge.

Algonquin will also be closed from Norman Street to Fogg, from 8:00pm to 10:30pm on Saturday night. Lamarche says traffic will be detoured around the closure.

There will be various parking lots open to the public; however Lamarche says parking is limited. The two lots at the bottom of Commercial Avenue will be open, along with the northwest lot at the Participark. The Game On and Timberland Ford lots will be open. There will also be parking at the Mountjoy Arena and the Sportsplex. In addition to that, there will be some on-street parking around Participark, but Lamarche says to keep an eye open for the no parking signs.

The shuttle service will be running all weekend long to make access to the park easier. It runs from the Notre Dame trailer park to the Participark, from the Whitney Arena to the park, and from the Confederation Multi-Sports Facility to the Kayak Fest.

All of the dropoff and pickup times, along with a full schedule of events, are posted on the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge and Festival website.

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Kayak Fest begins tomorrow, still time for last minute paddling registrations