Who is ready for a Cardboard Boat Race?


The Cardboard Boat Challenge is a Canyon Lake tradition. This event is entertaining for participants and spectators alike as boats constructed of cardboard and duct tape race on the lake for cash prizes.

This year’s Cardboard Boat Challenge will take place during the annual Mermaid Festival on Sept. 21 at 11:30 a.m. at Indian Beach. All ages are welcome to enter. Participants must check-in between 9 and 10 a.m. and attend a pre-race meeting at 11 a.m. The race starts at 11:30 a.m. The race lineup will be determined at check-in.

The $10 entry fee is waived for those who register on or before Sept. 19. The registration form and rules are posted on the Woman’s Club website at canyonlakewomansclub.com. Participants under the age of 18 must have parental consent to participate. Only duct tape and cardboard may be used to construct boats. No other materials, including paint, wax finish and printed materials, may be used.

Boats may only be propelled by utilizing arms, hands, paddles or oars. Legs and feet must be contained inside the boat at all times.

A $100 prize will be awarded to the first place adult finisher (age 16 and older). The first place youth finisher (under the age of 16) will receive $75. A $50 prize will be awarded to the winners of the Judges’ Choice and Best-Dressed Vessel.

Back in the 80s, the Cardboard Boat Challenge was referred to as the Milk Carton Boat Race. In recent years, the POA changed the name to Cardboard Boat Challenge and hosted it at Sunset Beach during Fiesta Day. When the POA canceled the event in 2015 due to a lack of volunteers, the Woman’s Club offered to take over the event the following year and host it during its annual Mermaid Festival.

The Cardboard Boat Challenge is just one of the many activities featured at the Mermaid Festival. The schedule is as follows:

11 a.m.: Dance party on the stage

11:30 a.m.: Cardboard Boat Challenge

12 p.m.: King Neptune in the Grotto

12:30 p.m.: Little Pirate Contest

1 p.m.: Pirate Ship Battle

1:30: Pirate Cove and Most Glamorous Mermaid Contest

2 p.m.: Little Mermaid Contest

2:30 p.m.: Opportunity Drawing

3 p.m.: Knobbly Knees Contest and Grand Prize Drawing

For more information, visit canyonlakewomansclub.com.