DIAMONDHEAD, Miss. (WLOX) - It was a big turnout Saturday for Diamondhead’s very first “Paddle Paradise” event. The event attracted more than a hundred paddlers to enjoy the great outdoors.
Paddlers grabbed their kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes and set off on a four mile paddle around Paradise Bayou Saturday.
Sarah Bowden summed up her experience in one word.
“Exhilarating," said Bowden. “Absolutely wonderful. It started off a little overcast and rainy, and then cleared up as we finished.”
This non-competitive “Paddle Paradise” event attracted people from all over including, Adele Dauphin from Louisiana.
“I saw it on social media, and it just looked like a lot of fun, a little exercise in the morning, followed by some beverages, some breakfast tacos, and a t-shirt. It’s all my favorite things just in one day." said Dauphin.
This was a chance for the city to highlight the Rotten Bayou Blueway, a coastal paddle trail.
“We want to promote the Blueway, in partnership with DMR and the Tidelands, we were able to build the kayak launches. And so we just want to get people, visitors and residents out and about enjoy the outdoors and the beauty of our community.” said Diamondhead City Manager Michael Reso.
Rhonda Brice Coast National Heritage Area Director also added “Mike and the city did a fantastic job of paddling the gulf, which is now going to be a five state initiative apart of the Gulf Coast Blueways, so not only can you paddle here you can go to other states as well.”
The event was also a boost to local businesses, with Kurt Noxted selling out of all his canoes and kayaks.
“If we would have brought more canoes, which we used our whole inventory today, then we would have been able to keep going," said Noxted. “But it was a wonderful day. It’s a great startup to our new business.”
“Paddle Paradise” ended with an afterparty at Lazy Gator with music, and food and drink specials.
The city said it hopes to host similar events in the future.