VALENTINE, Neb. - With several events taking place in Valentine this weekend, hundreds of people are headed to the north-central Nebraska town.

Niobrara River Fest Races was one of the activities, which featured several different competitions, including divisions for kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards.

Race Organizer Josh Krueger said the beautiful 14.6 mile course is what sets the competition apart from others.

“I go to a fair amount of races, and none of them look as good as this river. This is the only one I’ve raced on that is a National Scenic River,” Krueger said.

The Niobrara River is the meeting point of six different ecosystems.

“The scenery is second-to-none out here,” Krueger said.

Those in the competitive divisions usually finish in two to three hours, while people in the leisure group take closer to four hours. The event also included games, live music, drinks and food.

“It’s nice to get out and enjoy the river. We’re trying to draw in a little bit of a competitive crowd, but mostly it’s about getting out and having fun,” Krueger said.

The race has taken place every year since 2018.