South River Days Celebration at Hillsmere Community Beach on Saturday

The South River Federation will host the “South River Days” celebration to kick off a summer out on the water on Saturday (June 15). Each year the local non-profit holds the event at different beaches in and around the South River and its tributaries. It generally includes a kayak¬† sojourn, a picnic and a wade-in, where we all walk out into the water to see how far we have to go before we can’t see our shoes.

This year, the kayaking starts at 9 a.m. The wade in will be at 11 a.m., and the picnic at 11:30 a.m.

The federation has had a great year. They’re celebrating restoration projects on the river and the passage of the county’s stormwater fee. So they are joining forces for the wade-in with the West/Rhode Riverkeeper, the Spa Creek Conservancy, and Annapolis Community Boating.

Bring or rent a kayak and get out on the water during South River Days.

Bring or rent a kayak and get out on the water during South River Days, being held this Saturday.

For the kayak sojourn, you can rent a kayak or canoe fromAnnapolis Community Boating or Annapolis Canoe and Kayaks. They’ll have the boats at the site, so reserve your boat and it will be there when you arrive. The cost varies depending on whether you rent a solo kayak or a tandem canoe, but figure on spending around $30-$45. They’ve also got PFDs and paddles. If you’d like to use your own boat, meet at the beach at 9 a.m.

What’s a Wade-In?

The wade-in was the inspiration of former Maryland state Sen. Bernie Fowler (D-Calvert County), who used the wade-in as a way to gauge turbidity in the Patuxent River. The wade-ins, which started in 1988, were originally held at Broomes Island, but since 2010, they have moved to Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum. 

The wade-in often brings heavy hitters, including politicians Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Rep. Steny Hoyer and Maryland governors from both sides of the aisle, like Gov. Bob Ehrlich and sitting Gov. Martin O’Malley. Often, people line up in a big line, hold hands and slowly walk in. Ideal attire is white Keds-style sneakers.

The 2012 event took place at Mayo Beach Park. In 2011, it was held at Londontown Community Beach.

The event is taking place this year on the north side of the river. The Hillsmere Community Beach is at the corner of Hillsmere and East Bay View Drives in Annapolis. If you planon attending, please email Sarah. by email at If you don’t want to go out on the kayak sojourn, come by at 11 a.m. for the wade-in and picnic. The event wraps up around 1 p.m.


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About Mitchelle Stephenson

I've gotta tell Mitchelle! Send your South County news tips, brag on your fab volunteers, talk traffic, police and fire or just say "howdy" to Mitchelle Stephenson, co-founding editor of the South River Source. or reach me in person on mobile: 410-353-4706.

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