• Paddlefest planned at Howard Prairie

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  • Watersports enthusiasts who want to test drive stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and other equipment will get their chance during Paddlefest, planned for Saturday, Aug. 24, at Howard Prairie Reservoir east of Ashland.
    Medford's Northwest Outdoor Store will host what its owner hopes will be an annual event at the lake.
    Visitors can try stand-up paddleboards and kayaks for free, with trips limited to 20 or 30 minutes depending on demand.
    Also planned are paddle races and a paddling poker run. Race registration will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., with the races beginning at 10:30 a.m. The poker run will go from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Stand Up Ashland will hold sessions on yoga atop the stand-up boards, which are like long, wide surfboards stable enough for individuals to stand on and propel using a long-handled paddle. Sessions will be limited to six people.
    U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary officials will be on hand for water-safety demonstrations.
    Some loaner life jackets will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own life jackets, especially for children.
    The event will be run out of Howard Prairie Resort, which has a $4 day-use fee.
    The event will occur at the same time as the Rogue Valley Yacht Club's final races of the summer.
    For more information about the Paddlefest and the various stand-up boards and kayaks, see the store's website at www.thenorthwestoutdoorstore.com or call 541-245-4000.
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