The 89th Annual Canoe Carnival is CANCELED. However, Laker Lights will be celebrated on Saturday, August 1, 2020 in its place!
It is with profound disappointment and sadness that the Colony must announce the cancellation of this year's Canoe Carnival and Mardi Gras Night.
On a brighter note: The Medford Lakes King and Queen Pageant and Canoe Carnival Ball will still occur, with a modified configuration for both events.
Despite the best efforts of our Carnival Committee, the Colony Board, Borough of Medford Lakes, and MLPD, there remain too many impediments to safely holding these events. Primarily, we are unable to secure the considerable police and EMS manpower from outside townships required to ensure participant and spectator safety. Towns just do not want to loan us their officers for a non-essential, crowded event.
In addition, there remain considerable obstacles to ensuring adequate social distancing on our two Lower Aetna beaches, Beach Drive and Aetna Way Dam. Trying to fit thousands of residents and their guests into these small areas - and onto private docks and waterfronts - for several hours without adequate distancing or policing is simply not prudent at this time.
We ask that no impromptu platforms be constructed, and all beaches will be off limits at sunset per normal colony safety rules. Please be considerate of MLPD's need to remain available for other town issues.
While this is disappointing to both the Colony and the Borough, we have been made aware of a town-wide alternative social event planned by Lakes residents for the same night (Sat Aug 1) that is inclusive to all with a much larger distancing footprint. Please visit lakerlights.com and watch the video below for more information!
Thank you for understanding, and we look forward to resuming all Canoe Carnival activities next year.
Since 1931, Canoe Carnival has been held during the first week of every August on Lower Aetna Lake. Now it is routinely celebrated on the first Saturday of August. Each year float groups compete for the prizes in various divisions, as well as for grand prize. As Medford Lakes' main annual event, the Canoe Carnival week-long celebrations kick off with the Miss and Mr. Medford Lakes Pageant, the Canoe Carnival Ball and Mardi Gras Night. With a parade of elaborately hand-built floats supported on one or two canoes, it is a spectacle unlike any other!
Miss and Mr. Medford Lakes Pageant
Every July, your favorite 15-18 year old colonists vie for the honor to be crowned the King and Queen of Canoe Carnival! Candidates traditionally litter the town with signs, banners and pamphlets leading up to the election. The Miss and Mr. Medford Lakes Pageant is typically held at Beach 3 roughly two weeks prior to Canoe Carnival but can be held at Neeta School if the weather is inclement. Please keep an eye out on the Colony News to find out how to vote during the month of July. Every Colony member is entitled to one vote.
Canoe Carnival Ball
Kick off a fun-filled Canoe Carnival week by attending the Canoe Carnival Ball at Medford Lakes Country Club. Float groups traditionally wear outfits complementing their float design and compete for the coveted spirit stick. Tickets are $25 per person or $45 couple or $50 at the door. Advanced tickets can purchased starting in July at the Medford Lakes Colony Office.
Mardi Gras Night
The night before Canoe Carnival grab your canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and paddle boats! All Lakers are welcome to float on Lower Aetna and get a sneak peak of what each float group has been working on all summer. Lakefront houses are decorated to the nines with lights! Local bands are also hanging on the lake playing some great music!
On the night of the big event find your spot around Lower Aetna Lake to view the big event! Tickets for bleachers seats on the beach can be purchased in the Colony Office prior to Canoe Carnival. Colonists are welcome to set up their own chairs on the beach surrounding the bleachers starting at 4:00 pm the afternoon of Canoe Carnival. Details regarding road closures and traffic details can be found here, as well as on the Medford Lakes Police website. Additional details can be found in the Colony News leading up to the event. Be sure to arrive early to claim your seat and park nearby! Canoe Carnival kicks off at dusk, weather permitting.
Canoe Carnival Traffic Regulations 2019 - Click HERE!
CANOE CARNIVAL WAS AMAZING!
It was a magnificent Canoe Carnival! Thank you to the Float Builders, the Canoe Carnival Committee, homeowners on Lower Aetna Lake and neighbors who hosted this amazing event, the Police & Fire Departments, EMTs, a great community and more. Despite the heat making it a difficult year for building a Float; the Floats were amazing.
Congratulations to the Winners
On the Rocks (OTR) - Christmas Spectacular
Shawnee Division Winners
1st Place: Scrub Pines - Fat Bottomed Squirrel
2nd Place: Gunnels Deep - Cheers to Medford Lakes
Neeta Division Winners
1st Place: Up N’ Comers - Summertime
2nd Place: Canoe Kids on the Block - Moon Landing
Honorable Mention: Sink or Swim - Día de los Muertos
Nokomis Division Winners
1st Place: Medford United Methodist Church - Welcome to Medrock Lakes
2nd Place: Nut-N-Butt Paddles - Nordic Triumph
Single Canoe Division Winners
1st Place: Lil’ Paddlers - Harry Paddler
2nd Place: Hardwick Family - Small Town
3rd Place: Mildly Disturbed - Victory Lap, three weeks in the Lakes
Honorable Mention: The Leftovers - Beauty & the Beast
Organization Division Winners
1st Place: ML Lions Club - Time to Join the Lions
2nd Place: ML Women's Club - Explorer Happiness is where you are
Junior Division Winners
1st Prize: ML Camp - 9 Years to a Bronze Shield
2nd Prize: Pine Cones - Shiver Me Timbers
Mary Conrad Golden Oar Award: Gary Miller
Captain’s Award for Technological Achievement: On the Rocks (OTR)
Mardi Gras’ Winners
1st Prize – Tie: Tursi Family & Franken Family
3rd Prize - Kornafel Family
Canoe Carnival Hall of Fame Winners 2019:
Joan & Joe Doyle
The Baker’s Dozen