20th Riverfest celebration takes place on July 11, 12

By Lynn R. Parks

This will be the 20th year for Riverfest, the city of Seaford's annual celebration of its downtown and the Nanticoke River that flows nearby.

"Roarin' 20th on the Nanticoke" will be held July 11 and 12, starting with opening ceremonies at 5 p.m. Friday, July 11 on the main stage in the Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church parking lot.

The festival will run through Saturday evening, when area band Love Seed Mama Jump will close it out with a performance beginning at 9 p.m.

A carnival, set up in the empty lot near city hall, will open at 6 on Thursday evening, July 10. It will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.

"Riverfest is a great opportunity for the community to come out and share some time together," said Trisha Newcomer, festival chairwoman. "People can take in what we have to offer in downtown Seaford and enjoy some experiences that they don't always get to do."

The festival's cornerstone event, the Nanticoke River Float-In, will be held very early this year. Registration will start at 7:15 a.m. Saturday with splash-off at 7:30 a.m. (Starting time is determined by the tides.) The event will start at the office of Benz Urology, east of town just off U.S. 13. Hundreds of participants are expected to float down the river to the city's canoe launch on Water Street.

Cost to float is $1; participants are asked to bring exact change and also to bring with them their own floating devices. A few inner tubes will be available for purchase, at $15 for single tubes and $20 for doubles. Service Tire Truck Center will have an air pump at the site to blow up inner tubes.

A few lifejackets will also be available for purchase. Children who are under 16 are required to wear lifejackets.

Organizers are asking floaters to park in Seaford's downtown and ride the shuttle to the launch site. That way, they will be near their cars when the Float-In is finished. There will not be shuttles back to the launch site.

Events on Friday evening will include the Little Miss and Junior Miss Riverfest pageant at 6:30 p.m. on the festival's main stage.

Girls age 3 through 6 (Little Miss) and 7 through 10 (Junior Miss) will vie for the crowns. The pageants will be limited to 20 contestants, who will be judged on talent and appearance. The contestants are required to wear bathing suits. Registration forms are available on the festival's website, www.nanticokeriverfest.com.

New this year will be a boat parade on the Nanticoke. Line-up will start at 7:30 p.m. and the parade will start at 8:30 p.m. Sponsors are the Blades Economic Development Corporation (BEDCO), the town of Blades, the Nanticoke River Yacht Club and the Nanticoke River Sail and Power Squadron.

The band Mike Hines and the Look will perform on the main stage Friday night, starting at 8:30 p.m.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, the festival will get into full swing, with the opening of food and arts and crafts booths and the startup of entertainment. In addition to the Float-In, Saturday's activities will include canoe and kayak races on the river. Registration begins at 11 a.m. at the canoe launch on Water Street and the races start at 1 p.m.

A youth fishing tournament on the floating dock at South Pine Street will get underway at 1 p.m.; registration will start at noon.

The festival's 17th annual car show will open at 10 a.m. along Cannon and West High streets.

The Duck Dash, a Riverfest tradition that features yellow plastic ducks racing in the Nanticoke, will get underway at 4:30 p.m.

Throughout the day, children's activities will take place at the corner of High and Market streets. There will be entertainment on the city hall steps and on the main stage in the Mt. Olivet parking lot.

The Seaford Museum at 203 High St. will have free admission on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Its new exhibit on the city's waterfront will be open.

For your information The 20th annual Riverfest will be Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12, in downtown Seaford. For details, visit the website www.nanticokeriverfest.com.

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