Halloween Costume Paddle

The Story Behind Our Freakishly Fun Paddle!

In 2016, we decided it would be fun to march in the annual Portsmouth Halloween Parade. And, thanks to long-time member, Jeff Ouellette, we did. Jeff constructed our very first (and only)  float and we “paddled” in the parade. A great time was had by all until we hit that dang pothole. But, that is a story for another time.

The following year,  SPC officially partnered with the City of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Halloween Parade to host our first Costume Paddle Contest. And, we have been hosting this event every year since.

As a fundraising event for the Parade, 100% of paddle registration fees go directly to supporting one of Portsmouth’s most amazing nights.

Event Schedule

10:00 am – 11:00 am
On-Site Registration & Park Cleanup

11:15 am – 11:45 am
On-Water Paddle Parade

11:45 am – 12:00 pm
Award Ceremony

Get Inspired

Halloween Costume Paddle

Do I need to be a member of the Seacoast Paddleboard Club (SPC) to participate in the Halloween Costume Paddle?
No, you do not need to be an SPC to participate in our Halloween Costume Paddle. However, all paddlers will need to sign a Liability Release Waiver at registration check-in.

How far do I need to paddle?
Our Halloween Costume Paddle parade circumnavigates Round Island twice, which equates to approximately one mile. Paddlers are NOT required to complete the entire course. 

How much is the registration fee?
All paddlers are required to pay a $25.00 registration fee. The money goes directly the the Portsmouth Halloween Parade.

Are children under 18 years old allowed to participate in SPC’s Halloween Costume Paddle?
Yes, children under the age of 18 are allowed to participate in our Halloween paddle with a parent or guardian’s approval via a signed Liability Release Waiver.

Is this event open to all paddle craft, including kayaks?
Yes. Our Halloween Costume Paddle and our annual Seacoast Paddle for the Pups events are the only two paddles a year in which we allow, and encourage all types of paddle crafts to join us.

Is the Halloween Costume Paddle a rain or shine event?
Yes, however, we reserve the right to cancel this event for any reason. As rule of thumb, we typically cancel paddles if there is any risk of thunder, lighting, or threat of sustained winds greater than 15 mph.

Do I need specific equipment to participate in the Halloween Costume Paddle?
We require all paddlers to use proper safety equipment (PFD and a leash). Outside of that, you can paddle either a hard board or an inflatable paddle. As noted earlier, we also allow other paddle crafts such as canoes and kayaks to join us.

Why do I need to attend a safety meeting before this paddle?
The safety of our paddlers is our biggest priority. Therefore, all paddlers, regardless of skill level, are required to attend a pre-paddle safety meeting. During this meeting we review specific safety information, discuss our paddle plan, and take a head count so we know exactly how many paddlers are on the water.

Are there any costume guidelines or restrictions?
Yes, in order to maintain a positive, safe, and inclusive environment for our paddle participants, the use of pyrotechnics, live flame, or smoke generators of any kind is not allowed. Any costume that “makes a mess” (i.e. pieces of costume falling off into the water) will not be allowed. Additionally, any item capable of firing projectiles will not be allowed. This includes airsoft guns, Nerf guns, water guns, BB and pellet guns, and others, as we deem inappropriate. Costumes and props must be worn and carried with no risk of injury to people or property. 

What are the categories for the costume contest?
Our judges will award first and second-place prizes to participants in the following categories: Most Original, Best Nautical/Sea life theme, Funniest, and Scariest/Spookiest. An additional award will given to the best group costume (up to 4 individuals).

Who judges this contest?
Members of the Portsmouth Halloween Parade serve as an independent panel of judges.

Where and when is the Halloween Park cleanup hosted?
We host our park cleanup at Peirce Island boat ramp. Meetup time is 10 am on the day of our Halloween Costume Paddle Contest. The cleanup is held before the main event.

Do I need to be a club member to participate in the Halloween Park cleanup?
No. Our park cleanup is open to the public.

What do I need to bring to your beach cleanup?
While we provide either a bag or bucket to collect the trash, we’d encourage you to bring your own gloves (preferably work gloves or garden gloves) and a trash picker if you own one.

Can my business sponsor your Halloween Park Cleanups?
Absolutely! We offer an exclusive monthly sponsorship to businesses that wish to sponsor a cleanup. Please contact us for more information.

Can I bring my kids to a beach cleanup?
Yes. All SPC cleanups are a family affair, so children under 18 are welcome. You will just need to sign a participation waiver.

What do you do with the trash collected during cleanups?
Our beach cleanups are conducted in partnership with Blue Ocean Society, so we weigh, record, and report everything we collect to them. The trash is properly disposed of after we remove it from the beach.

Paddle Partners

We’d like to thank all those who share our spirit of adventure, conservation, and community by supporting our club.