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15th Annual Riverfest Takes Place at Valle Crucis Community Park on June 13


You are O’fish’ally invited to the 15th Annual Watauga Riverfest on Saturday, June 13.

Riverfest, a festival celebrating the rivers of the High Country, will take place at Valle Crucis Community Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be free and open to the public.

Now in its 15th year, Riverfest is an exciting and fun-filled day, with educational activities and demonstrations. There will be hands-on activities and information for both youth and adults. Participants will go home with not only new appreciation for the rivers of the High Country, but also with skills and knowledge needed to reduce their environmental impact as well as to educate others. The first step to keeping our rivers clean and healthy starts with the community.

Raffle FlierEvents include old-fashioned hay rides in the fish mobile, a fingers in the creek activity where children can hunt for live creek critters and “Mandy the Mayfly,” a fantastic watermelon eating contest, tours of the newly planted wetland, a bird walk and a tree identification walk. Kids can also join in the Krazy Kazoo band concert, get their face painted, have their pictures taken as fish and visit with goats and alpacas.

Adults and youth will enjoy being a part of the Elkland Art Center’s River Parade! Food will be available for purchase from the Farm to Flame Food Truck, Italian Icees and, new this year, bagged lunches will be available for $5 as a fundraiser for the Watauga River Partners. There will also be a raffle for a Perception Kayak held as a fundraiser for the Watauga River Partners!

Elkland Arts Center float for parade.
Elkland Arts Center float for parade.

Rivergirl Fishing Co. will bring a live hellbender for folks to meet and greet at Riverfest. The hellbender is North America’s largest salamander. Mandy the Mayfly will also be available for photos and autographs. Children can get their own “Mandy the Mayfly” children’s activity workbook at Riverfest. The workbook educates kids about water resources and biological life within rivers.

Exhibitors include Watauga River Partners, Appalachian Voices, Apple Hill Farm, ASU Recycles, Blue Ridge Conservancy, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, Children’s Playhouse, Elkland Art Center, Grandfather and Elk Knob State Parks, High Country Amphibians, Lettuce Learn Project, the Bluebird Project, Middle Fork Greenway, Mountain True, New River Conservancy, NC Fish and Wildlife, High Country Audubon, Watauga River Anglers, RiverGirl Fishing Co., Watauga County Christmas Tree Association, Watauga County Beekeepers, Watauga County Master Gardeners, Watauga Riverkeeper, The Weldwood Society, Brushy Fork Environmental, Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development and more.

Riverfest is presented by Watauga River Partners and Blue Ridge Conservancy and sponsored by Bare Essentials Natural Market, Mast General Store, Watauga County Cooperative Extension, Footsloggers, Appalachian Water Project, and Valle Crucis Community Park.

This free event, which includes free and ample parking, takes place place at Valle Crucis Community Park, locatd at 2892 Broadstone Rd. in Valle Crucis.


About the Watauga River Partners: 

The Watauga River Partners formed in 1999 as a chapter of the Western North Carolina Alliance. In 2015, the Watauga River Partners became a chapter of the Blue Ridge Conservancy. The two organizations entered into a partnership to more effectively advance their shared mission of protecting the land and water resources of the Watauga River basin.

Watauga River Partners’ efforts to protect the Watauga River serve communities along the 60-mile stretch of river.  For additional information about the Watauga River Partners or Riverfest, contact Wendy Patoprsty at (828) 264-3061 or email wmpatopr@ncsu.edu.
Riverfest 2015