RiverFest: What Makes the Deerfield River Amazing?

RiverFest in Shelburne Falls
Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Youngsters, and the young at heart, are invited to dress up as fish, frogs or any other favorite river creatures or simply have their faces painted—and then join performance artist Maya Apfelbaum and friends in the traditional “Frog & Flower Parade,” which steps off at 1 p.m. on the Buckland side of the river, joyously “flows” across the Iron Bridge and up Bridge Street to a lively finale. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Celebrate the Deerfield River and its role within the community at Shelburne Falls’ annual Riverfest!  The event takes place this Saturday, June 9th, from 10am-4pm and includes performances, activities, and adventures (plus a parade!) for families throughout the day.  This year’s celebration, “The Amazing River,” will focus on the specific things that make the Deerfield River particularly amazing – including its history, resources it provides, etc.

Beloved local musician Sarah Pirtle will give a morning concert on the deck by the potholes right by the river (where Mole Hollow Candle Shop was once located) from 10-10:30am with music to celebrate the river, and many special events will take place throughout the day, with opportunities for both fun and learning.

Visitors can create their own costumes and/or masks and participate in the community parade, which begins at 1pm on the Buckland side of the river.  The parade’s theme is frogs and flowers – participants can design their own creative wearable expressions of the theme.  Create an outfit that represents a species of frog that lives near the river, or design a wildflower mask!

Memorial Hall will host two family-friendly shows: the “Watershed Waltz” puppet show at 11am; and Piti Theater Company’s “To Bee or Not to Bee,” at 2pm.

Other activities include a documentary screening from Pothole Pictures, a chance to explore the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum and learn about local transportation history, fly tying workshops where kids can learn about the best flies to use on the Deerfield, art shows at local galleries, and more.  Riverfest also brings Nickel Days – a celebration of the days when ice cream cost just a nickel!  Families can buy ice cream from the Snows Ice Cream truck for a nickel, then visit the trolley museum.

Visit www.shelburnefalls.com for more schedule information.  Before attending Riverfest, learn as a family about the natural history of the Deerfield River and its significance within the community. Visit the Deerfield River Watershed Association for great resources to learn more.  Studies of the river pair well with studies of geology, ecology, and marine biology.

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