Today's lake level: 1071.42
Your complete online news, information, and recreation guide to Lake Lanier
May. 21, 2019
11:52 am


LLOP update: races, Food Truck Friday, and more

By Jane Harrison

Lula Bridge Race set for March 16

The traditional paddling race from Lake Lanier Olympic Park to Lula Bridge on the lake’s northern end may launch some short cuts this year. Lanier Canoe & Kayak Head Coach Szolt Szadovszki said he is considering some shorter distances for those opting not to paddle the marathon March 16.
The event held the week before spring officially begins usually heralds the start of intense on-the-water training for LCKC team members and brings in several other hardy paddlers from around North Georgia. It features a 24 kilometer out-and-back race to its namesake bridge, with an option to make it a 12K. It will be one of the first on-the-water tests for Szadovszki’s team, whose paddlers have been lifting weights, swimming, running, and circuit training this winter.
The race is open to ocean kayaks, sit-on-tops, stand up paddle boards and any paddle craft sturdy enough to go whatever distance is chosen. As of mid-February, Szadovszki had not announced the shorter distances.
See for details.

‘The Hunter’ expected to bring big crowd
The migration of college and high school rowing crews to Lake Lanier Olympic Park this month will culminate with the March 23-24 John Hunter Regatta. The annual regatta, put on by Roswell-based St. Andrews Rowing Club, usually draws one of the biggest crowds of the year to the site of 1996 Olympic rowing competition.
Crews from about 50 southeastern colleges, high schools and middle schools will compete in “The Hunter,” a rite of spring held more than 10 years on Lake Lanier. Participants, spectators, officials and volunteers generally pack local hotels for the weekend. All month rowers are expected to flock to the lake and local restaurants and stores while in spring break training camps at LLOP. Hosted by the Lake Lanier Rowing Club, the spring workouts bring about a thousand rowers to Gainesville each year. Some will stay to test their oars in the regatta. Others head in just to race. Lake Lanier Rowing Club juniors will get to show what they’ve got on the home course.
The Roswell club brings in about 500 volunteers, mostly parents of youth crew members, to work the regatta. Lanier rowing club officials have described it as a “turn key event,” with the organizer running everything from parking to staging races. Practice sessions begin on the Friday before the regatta opens. The Clarks Bridge boat ramp will be closed.

Food Truck Fridays roll in with live bands
Food trucks and live bands will roll in to Lake Lanier Olympic Park to knock off the winter blues at Food Truck Friday 6-9 p.m. March 15. The wildly popular gustatory gathering on the Olympic plaza fills plates and gets the weekend kicking once a month March through December.
New this year is the addition of live music. LLOP manager Robyn Lynch said good vibes resonated last year when she invited two bands to perform at the lakeside venue. She’s produced a line-up of bands for this year’s food fest, starting with local country/southern rock crooners, the Ivan Duke Band, on opening night. Expect to send your palate around the world with food truck chefs grilling and frying up everything from fajitas to veggie wraps to barbecue.
The wide, easily accessed Olympic Park plaza overlooking a northern channel of Lake Lanier sets the perfect table for the food truck craze. Lynch said the event has flourished since the first trucks parked there nearly two years ago. “It grew every month, from about 200 (attendees) at the first of the year and to over 1,000 at the end,” she said. The cooking starts and ends an hour later this year, so folks won’t need to make a mad dash from work to get a bite to eat. “People had a hard time making it at five,” Lynch said.
Food Truck Fridays
  • When: 6-9 p.m. March 15; one weekend/month through December
  • Where: Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Rd., Gainesville
  • Info:

Polar Bears make the leap a little late this year
Polar Bears at Lake Lanier Olympic Park got a late start leaping into 2019 on a cold, gray February afternoon. Seventeen jumpers plunged into the 45-degree lake Feb 9 in the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club’s 19th Annual Polar Bear Plunge. The club postponed the fundraiser traditionally held on New Year’s Day due to high water at the Olympic venue.

The Parsons family from Flowery Branch team effort won the Best Splash Award. Other award winners: Best Jump, Greg Owen and Elisabeth Clausen (tie), Snellville; Best Costume, Tom Diaz, aka “The Penguin,” Atlanta; Oldest Jumper/19th Polar Bear Plunge, George Wangemann; Youngest Jumper, Arianna Jeffrey; Most Appreciated Rower, Henry Kannapell. 

Posted online 2/28/19
Copyright © 2011 Lakeside News. Internet Marketing Company: Full Media (CS)