The 54th edition of the Kenduskeag Canoe race is back after last year’s event was canceled due to the coronavirus.

Watch as the paddlers come down Kenduskeag Stream after taking off at about 8 a.m. Saturday morning. There will be five waves/heats with the last heat expected to leave the starting line at 10 a.m.

Only about 310 paddlers were allowed to race this year, as organizers have taken steps to keep the number of people at the starting line low enough to adhere to COVID protocols. In a typical year, about 900 paddlers participate in the race.

Unfortunately, one popular spot for spectators — Six Mile Falls — will be closed to the public to accommodate COVID guidelines.

The Kennduskeag will be at a near record low this year which will make areas like Six Miles Falls and Shopping Cart harder to navigate for paddlers.

As of Thursday morning, the gage near Bangor was registering the flow at just 181 cubic feet per second, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Information System. Over the 22 years that the gage has been in operation, the lowest the flow has ever been on April 15 is 179 cubic feet per second.

Although Maine got some rain on Friday, it wasn’t expected to make much of a difference in the stream’s levels.

We’ll share some photos and a story later that will let you know how the race turned out.