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Gallatin Whitewater Festival returns June 27

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BOZEMAN – The Gallatin River flows through the Big Sky and Bozeman areas to the Missouri River, and provides abundant recreational opportunities along the way. This year’s Gallatin Whitewater Festival on June 27 seeks to highlight the area’s whitewater resources with a series of events designed to challenge whitewater kayakers, canoers and rafters, as well as provide opportunities for non-paddlers to participate.

The festival has long been a part of the whitewater community in Bozeman with a variety of organizers taking on the challenge of hosting the event since the original Gallatin Get-together in June 1978. After a several-year hiatus, Wave Train Kayak Team in partnership with the Gallatin National Forest brought the festival back in 2013. Enthusiasm for the event is growing quickly – competitor attendance nearly doubled from 2013 to 103 competitors in 2014.

This year, Wave Train is teaming up with a number of local businesses to bring back this fun event as a fundraiser for Wave Train Kayak Team’s nonprofit youth whitewater kayaking program. Wave Train was founded 15 years ago, and has been a big part of promoting the river community in the Gallatin Valley.

The events for this year’s festival will provide exciting whitewater action with some of the area’s top boaters vying for bragging rights and a boatload of great prizes. Inexperienced paddlers can also join the action during the Community Raft Slalom, an event that pairs teams of five or six with a local raft guide and boat.

Registration and events will be based at the Gallatin River Trailhead, the large pullout across the river from the Lava Lake Trail, just upstream of the 35 mph Bridge.

Wave Train Kayak Team offers affordable and safe river experiences for kids between the ages of 10-18. Contact Dave Zinn with Wave Train at or (406) 539-4333, or visit for more information about the event.

2015 Gallatin Whitewater Festival schedule:

9-10 a.m. – Registration

10 a.m. – Mandatory competitor meeting for all events except Community Raft Slalom

10:30 a.m. – Gallatin River Downriver Race: a timed, two-mile down river race that takes competitors through the Mad Mile

12:30 p.m. – House Rock Boatercross: a mass start sprint race from the Gallatin River Trailhead through House Rock Rapids

2 p.m. – Community Raft Slalom: check-in is at 1 p.m. and pre-registration is required. Teams of five to six people put together by local businesses and groups of friends, with local river guides at the helm. The teams will power their boats through a series of gates on their way down river competing for glory, trophies and prizes.

3:30 p.m. – 35 MPH Slalom: a race that requires competitors to navigate gates on their way downstream from the Gallatin River Trailhead access

5:30 p.m. – Award ceremony at the Gallatin River Trailhead

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