» By Corey Circello
Every year, the city of Clarksville comes together to put on a festival on the river appropriately named “Riverfest.” This year, the festival took place on Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8. Riverfest is a free festival and has tons of activities for adults and children alike.
This is Riverfest’s 25th anniversary. Jess Brundige, senior computer science major, worked at Riverfest this year. “I like being a part of Riverfest because it’s such a unique part of Clarksville’s culture. It celebrates the river and its part in shaping this city’s personality,” Brundige said.
This was the sixth year for the annual Regatta. The Riverfest Regatta is where participants build boats using certain materials the committee picks. They then race the boats down the Cumberland River.
The races, or heats, are timed and, of course, the fastest time is the winner. Other awards a team may win include the Ship Shape Award, Cardboard Queen Award, Team Unity Award, Team Attire Award and the Titanic Award.
There is also free music at Riverfest. This year, featured artists included Kip Moore, Adeline, Lara Landon, Joint Heir and Gateway To Stardom. Adeline started in 2009 as a worship band at a local church.
The group has had a growing fan base ever since. The group has four members: Joseph Darkangelo, Joseph Falconberry, Kenny Rutschow and Justin Bird. They have been called a Christian band, but they would rather be called a passionate band who wants to make Jesus famous.
There were many other performers from Pride and Joy and Eliminator to The Springs and Old Dominion.
Freshman Bailey Hernandez said her favorite part of Riverfest was watching her little sister perform two times on Saturday. “I am so proud of her for her hard work, and it really does pay off,” Hernandez said.
Riverfest offered plenty of activities for kids, as well. They had Toddler Town, a covered area where children under the age of five could play with Play-Doh, paint and inflatables.
They also had an Adventure Zone for older children. They had a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables, a mechanical bull and a rock-climbing wall. Also, Nashville Zoo’s Wildlife on Wheels Program came with animals the kids could explore, including a skunk, rabbit and a parrot from the Amazon Rainforest.
There were also a lot of tournaments and contests in which community members could participate.
They had a cornhole tournament which offered cash prizes this year for the 25th anniversary of Riverfest. They also had the Lighted Boat Parade which displayed lights floating down the river, as well as a recycled fashion show. People of all ages were encouraged to make a fashion piece — all from recycled materials. The first place winner won $75.
There was also a Tour D’Art which encouraged artists of all ages to enter their art in the exhibit to be featured in downtown Clarksville. They also had a chance for cash prizes. River of Culture is where festival goers could experience music, dance and stories from across the globe.
Another large facet of the Riverfest experience was the food. There were over 10 vendors offering everything from kettle corn to chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick.
For the past two years, Riverfest has made an effort to go green. They have tried to reduce their carbon footprint on the earth. “Riverfest Recycles” was created with the help of Bi-County Waste Management.
People at the festival were encouraged to take their bottles to the Bi-County Solid Waste booth to get a raffle ticket to win a wide screen TV.
This year, Riverfest partnered with F.U.E.L., an organization that feeds children whose only food source may be school lunches. Riverfest was a collection site this year to help F.U.E.L.