Memphremagog Parade, Kingdom Swim kicking off in Newport today

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NEWPORT — A couple of hundred open water swimmers and kayakers from coast to coast will be descending on Newport this weekend for The Return of Kingdom Swim after last year’s pandemic-driven hiatus.

They are traveling from 20 states, as well as international from France.

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The iconic 10 Mile Race is the flagship race of Kingdom Swim, which started things off in 2009.

The swim now also includes 1 mile, 5 km, 10 km, and 25 km races.

Swimmers will be in the water much of the day on Saturday, July 24, starting at 5:30 a.m., with the last ones returning to Prouty Beach at 5 p.m.

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All motorboats are asked to travel slowly on Memphremagog and to be watchful for swimmers and their kayakers throughout the day.

A local flotilla of motorized patrol boats will be providing support for the swimmers and kayakers.

Boats will be marked with yellow flags and “SLOW SWIMMER” signs

The Festival starts today as the Vermont Open Water Hall of Fame inducts the Class of 2020 at Jasper’s Tavern at 4 p.m.

Swimmers and kayakers and any others who want will march down Main Street in the Memphremagog Parade at 6 p.m.

The parade is organized by Memphremagog Community Maritime (Northern Star), Memphremagog Watershed Association, and Kingdom Games to celebrate Mighty Memphremagog, the Return of the Northern Star, the Return of Kingdom Swim, and the ongoing work of MWA to preserve and improve our great lake.

Pets, floats, and banners are invited.

Costumes are encouraged with prizes for the best-dressed pets and humans.

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