20th annual RiverDays festival was a great success

It was smooth sailing at New Richmond’s 20th annual RiverDays festival Aug. 18-20.

“The hard work that the organizing committee put into the event paid off in a big way this year,” said RiverDays committee member Donna Hammons. “We went for quality and variety this year. Everyone who came out had a fantastic time.”

Although there was no official count, it was estimated that people came in the thousands.

“The festival was, once again, a great success,” said committee member Kim Willis. “We had a great weekend. The weather was wonderful, the people were wonderful, the event was wonderful. The vendors did very well and everyone seemed to be really happy. The approach that we took this year seemed to work very well. We probably will not do anything different in future years.”

One of the highlights of the festival that will not change is the annual cardboard boat race regatta.

For the 14th year, thousands of people lined the floodwall and the river to watch this event. More than 30 cardboard boats competed, but in the end, it was New Richmond resident Kyle Jones who chomped the competition in his boat called the alligator.

“The regatta, which was hosted by 700 WLW radio personality Bob Eubanks, was a major highlight of the festival,” said Hammons. “I loved watching it. It is probably my favorite event.”

Other crowd favorites were the kick-off parade on Friday night, performances by the Back Beat Band and Vance Perkins, the 5K Run (which benefitted Boys and Girls Clubs), the cornhole tournament, the power boat races, the variety of food, rides, and games, and the zoo animals.

“There was something for everyone,” said Willis. “The unique opportunities that the river provides for the village always makes for a great festival. There were no problems and we are proud of the success that we had this year.”