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Originally published: 2014-06-16 11:31:36
Last modified: 2014-06-16 11:32:20

Riverfest Festival to be held at Valle Crucis park

Riverfest, a festival celebrating the Watauga River and the High Country's natural resources, will take place at Valle Crucis Community Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 21.

The event will be free and open to the public. 

In its 14th year, Riverfest will be an exciting and fun-filled day, with educational activities and demonstrations, according to organizers. There will be 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, organizers said.

Events include old-fashioned hayrides in the fish mobile, a fingers in the creek activity where children can hunt for Mandy the Mayfly, a trip through the 50-foot water cycle obstacle course and a watermelon eating contest. 

Children can join in the Krazy Kazoo band concert, get their face painted, have their pictures taken as fish, and visit with goats and alpacas. All games at the festival will have prizes, which can be taken home.

Parents and adults will enjoy seeing trash converted to other useful objects and can view the new Valle Crucis Park wetland, now under construction, organizers said. 

Food will be available for purchase from Feastie Boys Food Truck.

Rocky, the N.C. Zoo hellbender, will hold a 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, Watauga County Recycling, Blue Ridge Conservancy, Children's Playhouse, Elkland Art Center, N.C. Fish and Wildlife, High Country Audubon, N.C. Zoo, Watauga River Anglers, RiverGirl Fishing Company, Bare Essentials, Earth Fare, Watauga County Christmas Tree Association, Brushy Fork Environmental and Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development.

Riverfest is presented by Watauga River Partners and sponsored by Mast General Store, Bare Essentials Natural Market, and Valle Crucis Community Park. 

Valle Crucis Community Park is located at 2892 Broadstone Road.

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 Wendy Patoprsty at (828) 264-3061 or email (