Riverfest is this Saturday

BUCKHANNON — On Saturday, August 25, come on out for the 2nd annual Riverfest: a celebration of our water to learn about local conservation efforts, enjoy some good music, and paddle, float or fish the beautiful Buckhannon River. Join Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance (MLPA), the City of Buckhannon, and the Buckhannon-Upshur Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for this family-friendly event, which takes place from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Elizabeth J. “Binky” Poundstone Riverwalk Park. It will be a big day full of activities, learning, and fun that you do not want to miss.

While the event is free, Tygart River Outfitters will be shuttling folks upriver to Hampton for $10, where participants can either rent or bring their own watercraft to make their way downriver to the festival at Riverwalk Park. “Duckies,” kayaks, and raft rentals are $5 per person. The first shuttle will leave at 8:00 a.m., so arrive early to register. The paddle from Hampton to Riverwalk will take 2-3 hours, depending on how much fishing you want to do, so bring a hat, sunblock, and plenty of water. Bring your camera, too, as you may see kingfishers, green and blue herons, numerous songbirds, and other wildlife.

Land activities will begin at 11:00 a.m. and include water games, educational booths, and live music, with jazz, bluegrass, old time, and classical genres represented. A water blessing ceremony and dance will take place at 1:00 p.m. on the river. Bring some water from your homeplace to participate in the blessing, “the purpose of which is to recognize the meaning and role of water in our lives,” according to MLPA organizer, April Keating. The full music and performance schedule is as follows: Seth Maynard and Rachel Franks, playing acoustic music; 11: 00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; Will Roboski, Dance & Water Blessing, 1:00 p.m.; Elk River Ramblers, providing old time, celtic, bluegrass, immediately after Water Blessing – 4:00 p.m.; and from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Jules Kessler will do a combination of jazz, classical guitar, folk standards, and originals.

Both government and non-government organizations will demonstrate how they work to conserve and protect our water. You can get involved through volunteering–the Buckhannon Volunteer Center will help you connect with service organizations that need help.

Other goings-on will include a yoga class at 2:00 p.m. with WV Yoga Girl, flow arts (hooping, staff, poi) with Wren, stand-up paddleboarding with WV SUP, kids’ activities with WV DEP & more, local food vendors, speakers, and demonstrations. Organizations that do work around water protection and conservation are invited to showcase their work free of charge. Contact April Pierson-Keating to get a spot: apkeating@hotmail.com.

This event is free and will be a really fun day for the whole family. Bring your festival equipment (chairs, umbrellas, squirt guns, sunscreen, hats, water) and enjoy the day with us!

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