In May of 2005, the Canoe Festival Club was established and their charter adopted. The purpose of the Club was to bring canoe races back to the Whitewater Valley. Having not been held since 1990, the return of this historic event brought much excitement to the area. The plan was to host the races during an early summer festival in Brookville, anticipating that it would bring tourists to the area and showcase the scenic and historic landmark that is the river.
Plans were finalized and on June 23 and 24, 2006, “Canoefest” was born. Along with the races, the festival, located in the Brookville Town Park, hosted a talent show, a chicken frying contest, musical entertainment, a princess contest, classic cars, plus much more. After a successful first year, Canoefest was held again in 2007 and a grand event in conjunction with the Brookville Bicentennial, was held in 2008.
Recognizing the success of the event, and in thanks to the Town of Brookville for the use of the Brookville Town Park, the Club made the decision to establish the Canoe Festival Club Endowment in the Franklin County Community Foundation. When income is available from the endowment, annual grants will be made to the Town of Brookville to be used for programs and improvements in the Brookville Town Park.
The return of the canoe races and the addition of Canoefest have been a great boost for the Town of Brookville. Hopefully, both will be around for many years to come.