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Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival announces partnership with O'Brien Subaru

August 23, 2011
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

FORT MYERS, Fla., Aug. 22, 2011 The Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival has announced a partnership with Fort Myers-based O'Brien Subaru. This year's festival, scheduled for Nov. 3-6, offers seminars, on-water instruction, demos, races, a film festival and social events for paddling enthusiasts throughout Florida and the nation.

"We are delighted to join forces with this paddling festival, which is a draw for outdoors enthusiasts throughout Florida," said Gary Matern, vice president and general manager of O'Brien Subaru, 2850 Colonial Blvd.

The festival serves to highlight the Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail, a 190-mile marked-and-meandering saltwater trail that spans the coast and inland rivers along The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.

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O'Brien Subaru will host the kick-off reception at Residence Inn by Marriott Fort Myers-Sanibel on Thursday, Nov. 3, for festival participants, VIPs, sponsors and vendors. In addition, the Subaru will have a display at the festival headquarters, which this year is at Sanibel Causeway Island A, and will provide vehicles for attendees to view. O'Brien Subaru will offer incentives for purchasing vehicles during festival dates.

"We know kayakers, canoeists and nature lovers who attend the annual Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival feel a connection to Subaru, and we're pleased with this partnership," said Betsy Clayton, waterways coordinator for Lee County Parks & Recreation and the festival. "The Subaru-sponsored kick-off reception will be a highlight."

The festival has been selected as one of the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events for 2011. This year's title sponsor is Canoe & Kayak magazine, which will bring its new-product testing to the Sanibel Causeway and will launch a film festival. Attendees at the Nov. 3 Subaru-sponsored kick-off reception can meet Canoe & Kayak Publisher Jim Marsh and other notable people in the paddling industry.

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Festival details are available at and also on Facebook and Twitter. For trail information, visit



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