The Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival has been held on the Mt. Hood National Forest since 1984.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Participants raft through waves during a previos year's Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival.

Because of continued concerns about COVID-19 and the aftermath of the Riverside Fire, the Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival will not take place this year.

Highway and campground closures caused by the 138,000 acre Riverside Fire were one factor for the event's cancelation. In the Mt. Hood National Forest, where the festival is held, many recreation sites are unlikely to reopen this year, organizers have said.

The event was also canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its inception 37 years ago, it has only been canceled three times.

Each year, the Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival typically brings around 150 participants to the Carter Bridge Recreation Area to showcase their skills in a series of raft, kayak and stand-up paddle board competitions. Clinics to learn more about whitewater recreation and river safety are also available.

The festival was started by the Northwest Rafters Association in 1984. Along with local participants, it also usually draws attendees from Idaho, Washington and Southern Oregon.

"We are not giving up hope that the festival will return, and when it does it will be even stronger than before. We appreciate the continued support and look forward to the return of the UCWWF in 2022!" festival organizers wrote in a Facebook post.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Kayakers paddle down the Clackamas River during a previous year's whitewater festival.

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