A man dressed as a Viking celebrates after negotiating Six Mile Falls in Bangor during the 52nd Kenduskeag Stream Canoe race April 21, 2018.

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The City of Bangor announced on Tuesday that the 54th Annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, scheduled for April 18, has been canceled in response to the spread of COVID-19.

“Given the constantly changing circumstances around COVID-19 and the unknown length we will be dealing with this, we decided to cancel the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race for 2020,” said Tracy Willette, Bangor’s director of parks and recreation. “It’s a difficult event to postpone and reschedule since the water level in the stream continually drops throughout the spring, along with the resources needed to safely run the event.”

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The decision was made by the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department in consultation with the City of Bangor staff and safety teams.

The Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race is a 16.5-mile race that begins in Kenduskeag Village and finishes in Downtown Bangor. Typically, the race attracts 800-900 paddlers from around New England. It also attracts hundreds of spectators.

This is the first time the race has been canceled for the year, Willette said, though it has been postponed in the past due to ice.

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Aislinn Sarnacki is a Maine outdoors writer and the author of three Maine hiking guidebooks including “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine.” Find her on Twitter and Facebook @1minhikegirl. You can also...