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Paddles Come Out for Annual Tour Du Teche

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The Tour du Teche is an annual 135-mile race that takes place over the course of three days down the Bayou Teche in Southwest Louisiana. Racers can use canoes, kayaks or pirogues — a traditional Cajun canoe — to paddle their way down the bayou. The race courses through a number of Louisiana towns during the event, including Port Barre, Arnaudville, Breaux Bridge, St. Martinville and Charenton.

The race offers two versions of its course: racing, where participants compete for the top places and cash prizes, and Voyageur, a more leisurely, recreational version of the boating route.

The event also includes the Petite Tour du Teche, which allows younger participants to join in the races. Children between the ages of five and 17 take to the water each year and paddle through routes that vary in distance from 250 yards to one mile. The festivities also offer children 12 to 17 the option to attend Paddling Camp, a weeklong camp that helps them learn such skills as canoeing, kayaking and CPR.

Photo Credit: Tour du Teche