After a long anticipated wait, the Bend Whitewater Park is set to open to the public today at 5 pm.
However, the project isn't fully complete and there are some limitations to the opening. The floaters' channel will be open to float through, but the whitewater channel can only be accessed from below the bridge, either from McKay Park beach or Miller's Landing. Until further work is done on the whitewater channel, access will be closed to entering it from upriver of the bridge.
Next summer when McKay Park is fully complete there will be a big community dedication. In the meantime, community members are invited to celebrate the first opening of the park tomorrow at Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe Pickin' & Paddlin' event.
"We will be celebrating the park’s soft opening in conjunction with the last Pickin’ and Paddlin’ party of the season," said Jayson Bowerman, project partner and Bend Paddle Trail Alliance board member. "Weather should be warm and sunny, and people will be taking to the water to try the waves. Two of our four are working well at this low water level, and the top two waves will yet need some tuning before they show their true selves next season at high water."
The music at Pickin' & Paddlin' begins at 4 pm, Saturday, with Doc Ryan, followed by local legend Franchot Tone at 5 pm. The Renegade String Band takes the stage at 6 pm blending swing, blues, and bluegrass till 9 pm.
The full press release from Bend Park & Recreation District about the opening of the whitewater park is attached below.
Nine time US Freestyle kayak team member Dustin Urban enjoying the park's bottom wave during testing the other day. Three of the four waves are named in memorial of folks from the river community. This one is named to honor former Bank of the Cascades VP and avid raft captain Jason "TL" Mitchell.