Liberty Festival

The Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, one of the most prestigious international competitions in outrigger canoe racing and one of New York’s more colorful events of the year is coming back to New York Harbor in Summer of 2014.

Over four thousand people attended our first Liberty Festival in 2013. Following that success, New York Outrigger, along with title sponsor Hawaiian Airlines, will feature an expanded festival village during the competition where onlookers can interact with the participating crews, watch them launch their racing canoes and get a clear view of the race start and finish.

“We are very excited to grow the event,” said Brent Beck, NYO president. “We’ve always garnered a lot of attention and curiosity from the public during the race, but this year we will also offer fun activities and demonstrations to gain a deeper understanding of the sport.”

The festival will be a unique mix of Polynesian culture and New York style providing spectators and athletes alike a sampling of New York’s rich food culture, family-friendly activities, vendors, classes and workshops both on and off the water.

In addition, NYO will offer their popular free novice sessions during the event to allow park goers the chance to paddle an outrigger canoe on the Hudson River.  “Our novice sessions allow New Yorkers to experience the sport of outrigger paddling and provide a unique perspective of the city that many residents rarely see,” said Keith Tsang, Liberty Communications Director. Locals can experience a slice of Polynesian culture and the spirit of ho’olaule’a (celebration) without leaving the city.

“As title sponsor of the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, we are proud to expand the outrigger canoe race with free festivities for spectators, offering something for everyone,” said Avi A.Mannis, the airline’s vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines. “This is a great event to allow spectators of all ages to experience a taste of Hawaii and Polynesian culture.”

For those who are interested in outrigger canoe paddling, water sports or a variety of free activities, this event is not to be missed.

For more information including vendor and entertainment inquiries, please contact us at liberty@newyorkoutrigger.org.

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