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Riverfest Returns to Valle Crucis Community Park June 29, Celebration of High Country’s Natural Resources

June 28, 2013. Riverfest 2013, a festival celebrating the Watauga River and the High Country’s natural resources, will take place at Valle Crucis Community Park June 29 from 2 to 6 p.m. The event will be free and open to the public.

riverfest2Following a successful collaboration with Appalachian Voices for the past two Riverfests, Watauga River Partners, along with the Upper Watauga Riverkeeper, is returning as the presenting organization for this year’s Riverfest. Riverfest will be an exciting and fun-filled event, with educational activities and demonstrations, live music and food.

Riverfest will have plenty of hands-on activities and information for both youth and adults. Participants will go home with not only new appreciation for the Watauga River, 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.

Exhibitors include the Watauga River Anglers with a fly fishing demonstration, Footsloggers with river boat demos, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission with a “Fish for Fun” program, the Kerr Scott Reservoir with a water safety program, the Watauga County Extension Master Gardeners with gyotaku fish printing for the kids, and Appalachian Mushrooms with mushroom growing techniques. The Watauga River Partners will present an aquatic bug station, a water cycle obstacle course, the Enviroscape environmental education model, “Fish Photos” and more. The Upper Watauga Riverkeeper, Western North Carolina Alliance, the Weldwood Intertribal Native American Old Society, The Children’s Playhouse, Earth Fare and several others will also be present.

The Watauga River Partners will release their “Mandy the Mayfly” children’s activity workbook at Riverfest. It will mark the initial distribution of the educational booklet to children in the High Country. The workbook will educate kids about water resources and biological life within rivers. Mandy the Mayfly, the subject of the book, will be making an appearance at Riverfest.

 Performances by locally-based musicians will take place throughout the afternoon. The Drawlstrings, Brian Swanson, the Turkey Tracks Trio, and the Worthless-Son-In-Laws will provide entertainment. Food will also be available at the event from Vitality Fresh and others.

Riverfest is sponsored by the Western North Carolina Alliance, the Upper Watauga Riverkeeper, Mast General Store, Footsloggers, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Appalachian Voices and the Watauga Group of the Sierra Club.

Riverfest will be followed by the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, beginning at 7 p.m. at Valle Crucis Community Park. Hosted by the Western North Carolina Alliance, Wild and Scenic is the largest environmental film festival in the U.S. Tickets to the event will be available for purchase at the WNCA booth during Riverfest.

About the Watauga River Partners: The Watauga River Partners formed in 1999 as a chapter of the Western North Carolina Alliance in response to the growing pressures on the water quality of the Watauga River and its tributaries. The purpose of the organization is to educate the community about the Watauga River and to promote conservation and rehabilitation of the river. 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 Ashley Wilson at 828-278-9660 or Ashley@wataugariverpartners.org.