According to MCP President Deb Read, “The first River Festival was a hit thanks to all the community support the event received. We welcome back last year’s volunteers and are hoping for even more involvement in 2009.”
A variety of river events are planned for this year’s River Festival, including five different races featuring racing vessels, inflatable watercrafts and kayaks. The first racing heat starts promptly at noon, followed by the Whitewater Rodeo, Junk of the Unc race, and the awards ceremony.
The Whitewater Rodeo features kayakers who will be taking turns cartwheeling and spinning in one of the holes below the Ridgway bridge at Rollans Park. “This event provides a great opportunity to watch some of the best whitewater kayak moves on the Western Slope,” says Read.
The Junk of the Unc race invites novice and experienced boaters alike to bring a homemade vessel and demonstrate its river-worthiness. Boaters will attempt to make it from the footbridge to the eddy just above the railroad bridge before their boat falls apart. Most any vessel is acceptable and awards are given for creativity.
Staff from Jagged Edge and Telluride Kayak School will be on hand all day to answer questions and sign up participants for free roll clinics at the reservoir. “If you have always wanted to learn how to kayak, now is you chance,” says Read. “These folks are willing and eager to help you learn how to paddle on the river safely.”
RIGS in Ridgway will also be offering two complimentary raft trips down the Uncompahgre River the day of the festival. Come to the event registration table to sign up for your chance to float the river.
Registration for all events will take place from 9-11 a.m. at a well-marked picnic bench in Rollans Park. Participants can register before the festival by downloading the River Event Form online at www.ridgwayriverfestival.org. Contestants are encouraged to bring their ACA (American Canoe Association) card with them to receive a discount on registration fees.
Put-ins for all events will be at the footbridge in Rollans Park. Take-outs for the down river races will be at the Ridgway State Park, approximately three and one-half miles downstream of Rollans Park. Registration for all events is $20, or $25 for those who also wish to purchase a T-shirt. Discounts are available for those who would like to enter multiple events. All participants must have a coast guard-approved life jacket and helmet to participate.
For more information or to volunteer, visit the official Ridgway River Festival website at www.ridgwayriverfestival.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mosaic Community Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to operate with dedication to promote education, the visual and performing arts, sustainable living practices, and environmental awareness in Ouray County.