Coronavirus Cancels Canoecopia

A scene from a recent Canoecopia event in Madison, Wisc. (Photo courtesy Canoecopia)

Canoecopia has become the first major paddlesports gathering to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Organizers announced the cancellation of the long-running consumer tradeshow held in Madison, Wis., on March 12. The even was scheduled to take place March 13-15.

Canoecopia organizer and Rutabaga Paddlesports owner Darren Bush confirmed the cancellation of the annual Canoecopia show at 1:30 pm Wednesday, March 12, less than 24 hours before the show was scheduled to start, due to strong recommendations from the Wisconsin State Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We understood the situation was rapidly developing, and we made the call to protect our staff, our customers, and our community,” says Bush, adding it was not a decision made hastily. “We watched the situation develop and it became obvious that the right thing to do was to cancel. Canoecopia is our baby, but we had to look at the big picture. In retrospect looking back 24 hours, with the president declaring a national health emergency, we clearly made the right decision.”

Held at the Alliance Energy Center downtown, the event is the largest paddlesports consumer tradeshow in the world, with 50,000 square feet of exhibitor space, as well as a host of educational seminars,  clinics and presentations. Historically, the event draws upwards of 20,000 attendees.

He adds there has been an outpouring of support from the paddling community. “I have hundreds of emails from kind customers supporting Rutabaga Paddlesports, saying ‘We got your back!’.”

The best news for paddlers is the latest recommendation from the CDC: social distancing. “Now we have an excuse to go paddling away from crowds for the common good,” he says.

Canoecopia 2021 will be held March 12-14, 2021. “We greatly appreciate the support of our paddling family. If you have already purchased tickets for this year’s show, they will be honored at Canoecopia next year. Save the date now for March 12-14, 2021. We’re already planning for next year.”

Info: Rutabaga Paddlesports

Please check the Canoecopia website for updated information.