River Days set to begin Aug. 17

In just a couple weeks the New Richmond waterfront will light up with fireworks, be booming with music and will be lined with food and shopping vendors for the annual River Days festival.

“It’s the view and the friendly atmosphere everywhere,” Gary Skeene, secretary of the River Fest Committee, said. “That’s the thing about New Richmond River Days that makes it a fun place to come visit.”

The festival will run Aug. 17-19 this year and will feature a variety of live music, food, shopping and other entertainment right along Front Street on the Ohio River.

“Starting Friday at 6 p.m. we have two musical stages going on at each end of the park,” Skeene said.

Skeene said a variety of performers will play each day and evening of the festival.

On Saturday, Skeene said, there will be a ceremony to honor veterans at noon, just before boats file into the Ohio River for the annual Cardboard Boat Regatta at 1 p.m.

“I think you can expect a huge turnout crowd wise and boat wise,” Ray Perszyk, one of the race organizers, said about the race this year. “I anticipate a minimum of 60 boats. If the weather is cooperative I think we’re going to have a big year.”

Perszyk said they have had to travel to Kentucky to purchase more cardboard for the Cardboard Boat Museum because so many people have come in wanting to build boats this year.

He said it also seems like participants in the race are getting better at building the cardboard boats.

“The biggest problem we have is there aren’t many sinkers,” Perszyk joked about the race.

He said members of Team Lemon, who manage the museum, have built 10 boats for sponsors who will be competing this year.

“Local businesses have built several boats this year,” Perszyk said.

Perszyk said what makes the race special is that people of all ages can get involved and have fun building boats and participating in the race.

“It goes across all age groups,” Perszyk said. “It is families, clubs, schools, fire departments, anyone who can get a team together to race. Everybody has a good time.”

Perszyk said money made during the race after expenses goes toward supporting the Cardboard Boat Museum, which is located in the village.

He said the race starts at 1 p.m. and there are several different classes of boats in the competition as well as an awards ceremony at the end of the competition.

Registration can be completed online, or at 11 a.m. the day of the race.

Skeene said other fun and entertainment during the festival will include a gambling tent, zoo animals, rides, games, many shopping opportunities and food vendors.

“We have food ranging from Italian sausage to gyros to pork sandwiches,” Skeene said.

Skeene said the fireworks show will take place Saturday night and the festival will continue with musical entertainment after the fireworks.

He said Sunday, the last day of the festival, will feature gospel music in the morning, musical entertainment continuing until the end of the day and a car show, which he said has gotten bigger each year.

For more information or to view a schedule of the festival, which Skeene said should be posted soon, visit www.newrichmond.org/riverdays. Registration for the Cardboard Boat Regatta can also be found on the website under events.