May 9, 2020
It was in the spring of 1977 that a new restaurant, The Dock at Crayton Cove, decided to throw an end-of-season party to celebrate its first year. Because of its waterfront setting, a canoe race seemed natural. Twenty-five contestants and about 150 spectators participated in that first race. No one realized they had witnessed the birth of a tradition.
Today, the annual Great Dock Canoe Race is arguably Naples's most popular event. Contestants and spectators travel from throughout the country to race and watch, and thousands of people, from young children to grandparents, celebrate the race on land, dock and bay.
The Naples Jaycees, the local chapter of Junior Chamber International, have served the Naples community for over fifty years. Historically known for their haunted houses, involvement with the Fourth of July fireworks, and influence in moving the county seat from Everglades City to Naples, the Naples Jaycees reorganized under new leadership in 2014. Today, the Naples Jaycees are a thriving young professional organization known for providing young, active citizens with opportunities for networking, community service, and professional and personal development. Jaycees members are known for their community involvement, both through the Naples Jaycees and in their individual capacities.
The Great Dock Canoe Race was created as a celebration for friends and locals that signified that season was over and summer was coming. It was designed to support the community and create a fun experience for participants and onlookers alike. Thanks to another like-minded group in the Jaycees, the tradition will continue in perpetuity.
want to be a Sponsor?
The Great Dock Canoe Race is able to operate year after year thanks to our gracious sponsors. If you are interested in being a sponsor of the canoe race please fill out the form on the right and one of our team members will be in contact with you.