Participating canoes and kayaks can register up to a week in advance.

You can register at

If you would like to participate and are in need of a vessel, please register and select 'borrow a canoe from Folkways'. Our staff will contact you shortly.



The parade takes place on Sunday, September 23rd. Parade participants must arrive at 1:30pm to check in, do final preparations on their float, and to launch.  We will be there as early as 12:00pm if you need longer to set up your float or if you are borrowing a vessel from us.Parking is available at the Hjemkomst Center.

At 2:00pm, each float will launch and paddle down the river in a loop starting and ending at the Hjemkomst Center's Viking Ship Park boat access. We will paddle approximately 1 mile to the Riverfront Park Bridge and turn around to paddle back to the park. Total canoeing time is approximately 40 minutes. Volunteers will be available to help you launch and disembark. 

At 3:00pm, the award ceremony will begin at Viking Ship Park. Parade participants must stay at least 30 minutes following the parade for the public to view the floats and to participate in the award ceremony.


No branding or advertising will be allowed on the vessels.

Creativity, pageantry, and spectacle are highly encouraged, with prizes awarded to the best-dressed vessels. This can be done with costumes for both vessels and participants. The theme of each float will be entirely the result of their creators’ imagination. 

All decoration must be securely fastened to your vessel! If anything comes off of your vessel, you must collect it immediately. If you see anything come off from another vessel, please do your best to safely collect it. Nothing can be thrown from your vessel to shore. Keep in mind what will be practical when wearing a life jacket, using a canoe paddle, and maneuvering a canoe or kayak.

Floats will be viewed by a panel of judges who will award the best dressed vessel the Golden Paddle Award at the ceremony following the parade.



Rules to Remember:

  • Fun is the primary intention of this event!
  • Personal floatation device must be worn and fastened at all times.
  • All vessels must be manually propelled.
  • No tipping, bumping or splashing others.
  • Alcohol is not permitted.

The Red River is on MN DNR’s list of infested waters for zebra mussels.  Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) or Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) are non-native species that can harm our natural resources. To prevent the spread of these unwanted species, boaters need to clean and drain their vessels.  To remove or kill hard-to-see aquatic invasive species before moving to other water bodies, spray with high-pressure, very hot water and/or dry boats and water-related equipment for at least five days.