New Water Sports Featured at River Lights Festival

Published: Jun 6, 2012

SASKATOON, SK – Saskatoon Sports Tourism and the River Lights Festival announced the addition of three new sports for the second year of the event. The first Watercross Nationals, the Saskatchewan River Paddle Board Challenge, and the Saskatoon Racing Canoe Club River Regatta are set to take to the water at the River Lights Festival scheduled to run July 13th – 15th at River Landing. The Festival coincides with the final three days of the popular Taste of Saskatchewan.

Top watercross racers from Western Canada will be participating at the Watercross Nationals during the River Lights festival at the River Landing in beautiful downtown Saskatoon. Watercross racing is fast and furious and involves up to 20 racers on the track at one time with speeds over 70mph and stand up jet skis with horsepower rating of 300hp. Western Canadian Watercross racers are some of the best in the world, racers include Carla Klippenstein from Fort McMurray, Alberta, who is a 3 time World Champion and a multi time Canadian Champion, Mike Delaire from Saskatoon who is a 3 time World Champion and 2 time Canadian Champion and has top 10 Pro ranking, and Mike Klippenstein – "The most winningest Watercraft racer in the history of the sport" – from Fort McMurray. Klippenstein has 20 World Titles and over 100 Canadian Titles in numerous different classes. He is a four-time Pro World Champion and has won some of the biggest prizes in the sport. He has been inducted into the International Jet Sports Boating Association Hall of Fame. Dawn Dawson from Denver, Colorado, who is one of the best announcers in the sport, will be coming in to announce the Watercross Nationals. Racing will be fast and exciting as this event is the qualifier for the World Finals. A special race will go under the lights on the evening of July 14.

Members of the Saskatoon Racing Canoe Club are planning a number of races and demonstrations with canoes and kayaks. They will also have dry-land displays to introduce the sport to young enthusiasts. Stand-up Paddle Boarders will take part in a series of relays and races that will challenge even the most experienced in this exciting new water sport.

As last year, River Lights will also feature a Boat & RV Show, light displays from the BHP Billiton Enchanted Forest, a brightly decorated River Landing, illuminated boats, and the Sand Bar food & beverage pavilion with a relaxing and spectacular view of the river and all the festival activities. New this year is the Chamber Marketplace featuring a wide variety of summer merchandise.

Event organizers also announced the Dakota Dunes Casino has come on board as a Presenting Sponsor of the River Lights Festival. The festival is expected to draw large crowds and spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for the afternoon and evening events.

For a schedule of events and more information: after June 15th or call Hugh Vassos at 306-222-5392 email

101-202 Fourth Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0K1
Phone: (306) 242-1206 | Fax: (306) 242-1955 | 1-800-567-2444