Big Island and Back beach (copy)

The area near the swimming beach in The Commons in Excelsior was filled with kayaks, canoes and paddleboards Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, just before the start of Big Island and Back.

EXCELSIOR — The weather forecast has forced the annual Big Island and Back paddle event to be held on Sunday, Aug. 11, instead of Saturday. 

"Due to weather/wind safety concerns" the event will be held Sunday, Big Island and Back said in a Facebook post Friday afternoon, adding the event will follow the same schedule. 

In a second post on Facebook, event organizers said "It was not an easy decision, but safety first!"

The weather forecast for Excelsior on Saturday shows rain and a possible thunderstorm during the day, with a high temperature of 71 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. The forecast for Sunday says it'll be mostly sunny with a calm wind, with a high temperature near 81 degrees.

Big Island and Back is a 10K paddle on Lake Minnetonka to benefit the ICA Food Shelf and the Freshwater Society. It is sponsored by Excelsior Brewing Company. 

The friendly race, which is celebrating its sixth year this year, will start at 9 a.m. near the swim area at Excelsior Beach Park. Paddlers on canoes, kayaks or paddleboards will race around Big Island and back. 

Following the race, there is an after party at Excelsior Brewing Company that starts at 11 a.m. 

The Big Island and Back Facebook page is The event's website is

Melissa Turtinen is the multimedia reporter for Lakeshore Weekly News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.


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