Free aquatic rentals at Nautical Festival

Families can take part in broad range of aquatic activities like kayaking, canoeing, sailing and more during the sixth edition of the festival

Ever wanted to try a stand-up paddleboard, kayak, windsurfer or a voyageur canoe? On July 8 and 9, you can try these and other water activities for free at more than 100 locations around the province during the sixth annual Nautical Fest.

Organized by the Quebec Marine Association, the festival celebrates the wide range of water activities offered at marinas, ports of call, clubs and boating schools on the St. Lawrence River as well as lakes and riverbanks.

In addition to offering free equipment rentals, scenic waterfront vistas and advice for newbies, there will be various activities for families, such as boat rides, canoeing, kayaking and rabaska trips, introduction to navigation for both kids and adults, flyboard demonstrations, marina open houses, boat parades, small cruises, friendly races, interpretive tours and more.

A unique program called Pirates de L’Espoir provides additional opportunities for disadvantaged children and kids with physical or mental disabilities to experience the joy of boating. Participating marinas, cruise ships, sailing schools, boat owners and adapted sports associations will offer special boat trips and other activities. Event highlights near Montreal include:

July 8 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A party celebrating the 35th anniversary of St. Zotique Beach and the 50th anniversary of the municipality with free kayak, pedalo and canoe rentals, live music and fireworks at 105, 81e avenue. 450-802-3003.

July 8 from 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. A musical festival in a park just outside of Montreal on the South Shore. The event will feature food, live music and tons of activities for kids including inflatable games, sandcastle workshops and a show animated by Arthur the Adventurer at the RécréoParc at 5340 Boulevard Marie-Victorin, Sainte-Catherine. 450-635-3011.

July 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free rental of non-motorized watercraft, a kayak rally and visits to a historic windmill at the Parc historique de la Pointe-du-Moulin in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot at 2500 Don-Quichotte Blvd. 514-453-4128.

For more information, call 450-466-1777. A full list of events is available online at fetedunautisme.ca, searchable by activity or location.