TUCKAHOE — Enjoy a lazy day on the Tuckahoe River or embrace your competitive side in a canoe and kayak race this August to support local student scholarships.
The 38th annual Tuckahoe River Canoe & Kayak Race is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 4. Registration and check-in for the races is at 8 a.m. The canoe/paddle race begins at 10 a.m. and the kayak race is at 10:30 a.m. The starting time for the poker run is between 9 and 11 a.m. and prizes are awarded at noon.
There are 12 different categories for the race and medals are awarded in each division. Divisions include: men’s kayak 13 feet and over; men’s kayak under 13 feet; women’s kayak 13 feet and under; men’s kayak, two-person; women’s kayak, two-person; men’s kayak 55 and over; women’s kayak 55 and over; co-ed kayak, two-person; canoe, two-person; paddle board, men; paddle board, women; and the poker run.
This event is organized by the Greater Tuckahoe Area Merchants Association (GTAMA), an organization encompassing businesses in portions of Upper Township, including Tuckahoe, Steelmantown and Petersburg, as well as nearby Corbin City and Estell Manor in Atlantic County.
“A lot of the same people come back year after year because it’s a really fun, family event,” said Merry May, president of the GTAMA.
Between 100 and 120 people usually take part in the event.
“Some people come and bring their beach chairs to cheer on their favorite participants. We’ll have food there and we’ll also have the 50/50. It’s a good time for everybody,” she said.
An Ascend FS 10 kayak will be raffled off at the event.
Both the canoe/kayak race and the poker run courses are about 2 miles down the Tuckahoe River.
The top race finishers can win in as few as 20 to 25 minutes, according to May, while the poker run takes longer.
For the poker run, participants stop at five docks along the river, draw cards from each and compare poker hands at the end. The top hands receive prizes.
In addition to the Canoe & Kayak Race, the GTAMA holds an annual Handmade in America Professional Craft Show in November, the Tour de Tuckahoe cycling event and is a part of the 2nd Saturday by the Tuckahoe Village Shops. The events, held on the second Saturday of each month, include artist demonstrations, food, activities and giveaways.
The craft show, which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 23, includes 50 vendors. There are also auction items and live entertainment. About 800 people attended in 2018.
The GTAMA holds meetings on the second Wednesday of the month at Levari’s Seafood & American Grill in Tuckahoe. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and those interested in dinner should arrive at 6 p.m.
Both the canoe and kayak race and the craft show are fundraisers for the GTAMA student scholarships, which are distributed each year. Scholarships are distributed in a special presentation, which was held Wednesday, July 10, this year. According to May, about $20,000 in scholarships was distributed.
She estimated nearly 20 scholarships were distributed.
“We’re pretty proud of that, being able to help local families,” she said.
Scholarships are available to high school students and to students already enrolled in college.
“We make a priority to raise funds to help local students through our scholarships, and we also try to support the local businesses because if they are thriving, the greater Tuckahoe area is thriving,” she said.
The annual Tuckahoe River Canoe & Kayak Race and Poker Run is Sunday, Aug. 4. Registration is $15 per person before Wednesday, July 24, and $20 per person after July 24. A T-shirt is included with the registration, while supplies last.
To register, or learn more about the event and the GTAMA, visit tuckahoenj.com.