Kayaking, water wars and exercise demonstrations are replacing moon bounces and merry-go-rounds at the 11th annual Codorus Blast festival this weekend.
The event, which will be held Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24, will feature a triathlon, bands, vendors and outdoor children's activities.
"This year we moved away from the carnival rides," said Codorus Park Manager Warren Werntz. "We're trying to do more things that are green."
A half-hour kayak program led by experienced guides will show adults and children how to paddle and steer. A family fun area will include laser tag, dance performances and fire prevention demonstrations. The Civil War Reenacters of Hanover will also be hosting demonstrations showing blacksmith craftsman, demon rifles and a Civil War church service.
On Saturday, around 50 athletes will compete in the triathlon around the park. The event includes a half-mile swim, a 5K run, and a 12-mile bike race. That night at 10 p.m. there will be a fireworks display over the lake.
However, not all the events are just for humans. One annual event, known as Dock Dogs, will demonstrate canine jumping and retrieving.
Werntz said that Dock Dogs is one of the most popular events. Spectators often bring their dogs to watch the event, even if their four-legged friend is not competing.
Last year the festival drew nearly 45,000 people to the park. This year Werntz is expecting that same number, if not more. He said the crowds might be especially thick on Sunday night when country music artist Kix Brooks performs. Brooks is half of the duo of the popular Brooks and Dunn, who announced their retirement in 2009.
Pentagon, a six-member rock and R&B band, will also play at the event as well as Philadelphia Avenue. Country singer Richie Fields will also perform.
More than 30 food vendors will sell all different types of food while other vendors will sell mostly handcrafted items. Even though most people that attend the festival are locals, Werntz expects to see tourists and other out of town visitors during the event.
Codorus Blast is hosted by the Friends of Codorus State Park, an all-volunteer group of around 330 members who organize fundraising events to preserve and restore the park. Money raised from advertising and vendors at this year's festival will go toward purchasing and installing a security system at the marina.
Another way money is raised for the park is by an auction. First held last year, items such as gift certificates, bikes and handcrafted furniture were donated and then auctioned off to event-goers. "It's a great way to raise funds from the park," said Werntz. "People are generous because they're going to get something while the money's going to be donated back to the park."
The event was first started to encourage families to experience nature found in the park and lake at Codorus.
"It brings people into the park," said Werntz.
- Caia Caldwell,
If you go
WHAT: Codorus Blast
WHEN: Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24
WHERE: Codorus State Park, 2600 Smith Station Road, Hanover
DETAILS: codorusblast.com or 717-637-2816