The 2009 Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival, which runs for 10 days, will have two main events held in Cape Coral on Sunday, Oct. 25.
The two events will include Monofilament Madness, which is an annual clean-up event coordinated by Keep Lee County Beautiful Inc., and a new event called Geo Paddle.
"Having Cape Coral and this geocaching event as part of the 2009 festival is key and should highlight the waterfront of Cape as well as the up-and-coming sport of geocaching," said Betsy Clayton, co-coordinator of the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival and waterways coordinator for Lee County Parks and Recreation. "Geocaching pairs perfectly with the Calusa Blueway and kayaking because it takes the techno-hide-and-seek game onto serene waterways for good fun."
Mickey Miller and Liz Wilder, Lee County Parks & Rec employees, prepare for last year’s geo-caching event.
Two fishermen, Larry Davis and Dave Westra, began Monofilament Madness in 1993 because they wanted to remove monofilament fishing line and other harmful debris found in the mangroves of Lee County. The madness event "keeps Lee County beautiful" by having volunteers search the water for debris in their boats, kayaks, canoes and jet skies.
The executive director of KLCB, Rudy Bush, said in a prepared statement that Monofilament Madness has produced enough discharged fishing line to stretch from Fort Myers to Tallahassee.
The Geo Paddle event, which will be hosted at the Marina Village at Tarpon Point, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Carolyn Masten, public relations and promotions manager, said the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival is held to help encourage people to get back to nature by getting individuals back on the water.
From 9 a.m. until noon, a beginner geo-caching course featuring maps will be held, and an advanced geo-caching course will be held from noon until 3 p.m. featuring a GPS navigation.
Masten said the morning course will be held for individuals who have never done geo-caching before or are not familiar with kayaking. She said individuals will be given a map to introduce them to geo-caching and during the course individuals will find the different sites in the water.
"The idea is to get people out in the water and enjoy nature and see how fun geo-caching is," Masten said.
The second, advanced course will include GPS coordinates, which will allow participants to get out in their kayaks and find the different caches, Masten said.
She explained that once individuals complete both of the events they will come back to the registration tent and spin a wheel to receive a prize from the resort.
Masten said it is absolutely free to participate.
She said individuals are more than welcome to bring their own kayaks for the event, but if they need to rent one than can do that also.
Those who need to make arrangements to rent a kayak can call Tarpon Point Marina at 239-542-6222 or Kayak Excursion at 239-297-7011.
Masten said it would be best to call a couple days before the event to reserve a kayak.
The event will have food and beverage sales; music and entertainment; an introduction to geo-caching workshop; kayak, canoe and outdoor sports vendors; canoe and kayak rentals; and free launch site. The demonstrations will include fishing and fly fishing clinics, kayak and canoe clinics and Outdoor Gear clinic.
Bass Pro Shop will be on site with all of the latest boats and outdoor equipment, along with workshops on the hour, Masten said.
Cat Country 101.9 will also be at the event giving away promotional items and prizes throughout the day.
An open house and sneak preview tour of the Resort at Marina Village will be given for individuals who attend the event.
A complimentary chair massage from Esterra Spa and Salon will also be provided at the event.
Masten said they will be at Bass Pro Shop today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a free registration drive at Gulf Coast Town Center. She said they will be at Bass Pro Shop to ensure they have enough room for everyone who wishes to participate in the Oct. 25 event.