Participants await the start of the River Race on the Androscoggin River, June, 2019. Credit: Kait Lavin Photography


June 2, 2020

The annual LA River Race, a celebration of the Androscoggin River and water-based recreation in LA held in late June each year, will be held June 26, 2021. For the past four years, this summer paddling adventure in downtown LA has been the largest annual event of the Androscoggin Land Trust (ALT). Now, ALT Board President Dana Little and LA Metro Chamber of Commerce President + CEO Shanna Cox are excited to announce a new partnership in hosting this event that will seek to expand the participation of paddlers and the positive ripple effect on the local economy. While originally slated for June 27th, 2020 in conjunction with the Great Falls Brewfest, the event has been postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19 and the limits to crowds.

“We are honored to be a trusted partner of ALT in the stewardship of this great event. Each year, the LA River Race highlights safe practices for recreational uses of the Androscoggin, and draws people to LA”, says LA Metro Chamber President + CEO Shanna Cox. “We believe by partnering with ALT and working with Adam Platz of Baxter Brewing and the Great Falls Brewfest, there is a great opportunity to highlight LA’s best assets, and provide a weekend-long boost to our local restaurants and hotels. We are excited to see the year-over-year growth of this event and its benefits to LA.”

The event planners note that the prolonged planning period will enable better alignment with the Brewfest that can lead to stay-and-play packages and enhanced marketing of the events that pull attendance from beyond the region. The event course and activities that racers have grown to love will remain largely unchanged. “We are very happy to partner with the Chamber for this event that offers a unique opportunity to take in the beauty and recreational opportunities of the Androscoggin River and enjoy downtown Lewiston and Auburn,” says ALT Board President Dana Little. “We know partnering with the Chamber will bring event planning capacity and invite innovative ideas while allowing our staff and board to continue to contribute our years of experience planning river-based events and encouraging people to enjoy the adventure and natural features of the River. We see the potential for this event to reach a larger audience and more widely celebrate the Androscoggin River as a significant natural resource asset to LA.”

While the event has been delayed due to COVID-19, event planners aren’t waiting until 2021 to get the fun started. There is an event page on Facebook where you can receive news and updates to the event itself – and join a virtual community of paddling and outdoor enthusiasts. Event planners will be using the social media platform over the next year to build a community around the event and the river – seeking to grow the excitement for the event while encouraging people to get out and play in LA in safe ways.