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'Witches on the water': Paddleboarders, kayakers bring spooky season to the river

A group of kayakers and paddleboarders put on their best costumes to paddle in Tarpon Springs.
Credit: Chip Irons

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla — A group of paddleboarders and kayakers brought the spooky season to the Tarpon Springs waterways.

In celebration of Halloween, the Cotee River Kayakers Club joined together in their best pointy hats and capes for a Witch Paddle Parade.

The group began at the Tarpon Springs Splash Pad and paddled down the historic Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks village and around the bayou.

Originally planned for Thursday, the organizer, Christine Irons, rescheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 27, due to anticipated inclement weather

About 30 people attended the day's event, although at least 90 people originally signed up. Irons said the day was still a great success.

Credit: Chip Irons
Witches and warlocks paddle parade in Tarpon Springs

"It's just a fun atmosphere of cackling, dancing witches on the water," Irons said.

She started the annual paddle last year on the Pithlachascotee River. This year was the first time the event took place in Tarpon Springs. 

"Halloween is my favorite holiday and my favorite activity is paddling on the Florida waters with my friends," Irons said. "So when my paddle friend and I discussed how fun it would be to combine the two, the Witch Paddle Parade was inevitable."

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It's not every day you get to paddle as the Wicked Witch of the West. Irons said her favorite part about the themed paddle is the costumes.

"Especially those on paddleboards who look like they are flying with their paddle as a broom," Irons said.

A dolphin even graced the parade with its presence. 

Credit: Christine Irons

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