Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny, Port Hope's one of a kind river race.

April 7, 2018

Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny, April 14, 2018


In the late winter of 1980, with the ground still frozen, the Ganaraska river flooded its banks and made a mess of lower Port Hope. It was a an unreal sight with the charming and tranquil town of Port Hope looking like a hurricane had swept through. After the flood, the streets were eroded and large trees, trash and other debris wers strewn over the streets, curbs and sidewalks. In the following days over 300 volunteers helped to clear the clutter and the reconstruction of roads, bridges and sidewalks took months to complete. The impact of the flood and the reconstruction phase was particularly hard on many of the nearby merchants and in honour of that event, and to provide an economic boost, the Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny river race was born. 


Now in its 37th season, Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny is an annual race and event that draws in thousands of spectators who line the banks of the Ganaraska river. The race includes the so called Crazy Crafts that recall the debris of the flood and professional kayakers that navigate the icy cold rapids down the Ganaraska to near the mouth of the river in downtown Port Hope. The town of Port Hope, its many volunteers, and corporate donors put in a lot of effort to make Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny a highlight of the Port Hope calendar. The family friendly event includes musicians, vendors, clowns, entertainers and spectators are encouraged to "soak" the race participants with water cannons and buckets of water!


If you decide to go to this free event, you can find parking along the residential streets on the west side of the river and walk a few minutes to the shore. If you are bringing your camera (and you should if you have one) an ideal vantage point is on the west side of the river bank. You will be fairly close to the boaters at about 5-20 meters so a normal lens and a moderate telephoto lens will be fine. For another perspective, a top view, you may want to consider the Barrett St bridge as all the crafts will float below. Personally I find taking pictures from the river bank to be more exiting. Try to get down low and try some 1/20 sec. panning shots for extra drama. Also, because of the (mostly) fast moving crafts and boaters and the many people on the banks, it would be best to not use a tripod in this location. 


After the race, the downtown merchants, eateries and pubs are ready to serve you and you can even check out a local comedy festival the day before the race too. The town of Port Hope is located west of Cobourg. If you are travelling from The Woodlawn Inn, a nice drive is to take county road #2 and allow yourself about 25 minutes to drive, find parking and walk to the river.  


Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny 2018


Float Your Funny Comedy Festival





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