The TC Waterman Stand-Up Paddleboard Challenge returns for a 5th year on Saturday, August 16th to combine a stand-up-and-coming Northern Michigan sport with Northern Michigan beer, food and music for one sun- and water-soaked weekend event. The event will take place at the Open Space with proceeds to be donated to water conservation non-profits.

Registration for the races is now closed, but tickets to the after-race food and music event are available at

The 2014 Challenge is being supported by Short’s Brewing Company, which will be bringing their amazing woody boat and ski bar for a tap takeover on the Open Space pier. This new Short’s BEER-B-Q will feature local whole hog BBQ paired with famous Hall’s Farm sweet corn for a fantastic culinary experience. A fun weekend for families, foodies, local craft beer and wine lovers.

The TC Waterman Challenge and Expo is the Midwest’s largest SUP event & industry EXPO. This event will include recreational and elite races for all ages and skill levels including an 11-mile down-winder from Bowers Harbor, free product demonstrations, free clinics, kid’s races, and an awards dinner for all participants. This is a World Paddle Association (WPA) sanctioned event.

New this year will be the Short’s BEER-B-Q on the West Bay pier featuring East Carolina-style BBQ paired with Hall’s Farm sweet corn. Live music will be provided throughout the day headlined by the Laith al Saadi Big Band with the Motor City Horns. The Motor City Horns have performed extensively with Bob Seger. Whole hogs, shoulders, ribs, pulled-pork sandwiches, and brisket will be smoked and prepared for a delectable meal. Award-winning Executive Chef Lauren Smaxwell will supervise all culinary action throughout the day. She and her team were recently featured on Food Network where they beat Bobby Flay’s ribs on his show, Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Those looking to enjoy the Short’s Boat Bar tap takeover on the bay will need a ticket for $10 in advance or $15 at the door, which includes a custom mug. The day is filled with 30+ vendors from apparel outfitter M22 to SUP businesses and water related nonprofits. Family and kid activities will include Coast Guard helicopter landing and tours, Traverse City Fire Department truck tours, historic farm equipment, petting zoo, kids silent disco dance tent, SUP demonstrations, TC Parkour and more.

The evening will end with a live performance by Laith al Saadi and his Big Band with the Motor City Horns at sunset on the shores of beautiful West Grand Traverse Bay. The area will be filled with a unique talent lineup of busking street performers.

Tickets to the Short’s Beer-B-Q are available at Wine and beer tickets will be available for purchase at the event, and food will be available throughout the day. Proceeds from the event will support sustainable green events and intelligent design through nonprofit partner Bay Area Recycling for Charities. Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as space is limited. The Short’s Experience on the Pier is open to ages 21 and older, while the Waterman Challenge and the BEER-B-Q are open to all.

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