Friday, August 3, 2012

RiverLink invites everyone to the French Broad for a big party

RiverLink invites everyone to their biggest party of the year -- RiverFest 2012 -- at French Broad River Park on Saturday, August 11, from 1:00 p.m. to  7:00 p.m. This annual celebration of the French Broad River is sponsored by RiverLink and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and offers a little something for everyone.

Returning to the festivities will be the "Anything that Floats Parade." Groups from all around WNC will put together watercraft of all kinds out of anything they can find that floats and parade them by the festival grounds. The only rules are that they must float and must be powered by wind, solar or our own herculean strength - no motors allowed -- and be removed from the festival grounds upon completion of the race. A registration form and information are available at

RiverFest wouldn't be complete without live music. Headlining this year's event is the Galen Kipar Project, whose fusion of folk, classical, jazz, and blues sees them touring in support of their fourth album in five years. Leading off the afternoon's music is local singer/songwriter Nikki Talley, whose album "Beautiful Charmer" was voted seventh in WNCW's top 20 regional releases of 2010. Also appearing is Mountain Feist, who promise a fast-paced, interactive show supported by tight four part harmonies, instrumental features and an eclectic repertoire of original music as well as fresh cover material.

RiverFest offers lots of fun for kids, too with face-painters, art supplies, craft booths and animals from the Western North Carolina Nature Center to touch and learn about. Kids can ride, skate, walk, run, and skip in costume in the Kids Parade, which starts at 1.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will provide a selection of beers. Sierra Nevada recently announced it had chosen approximately 90 acres right on the French Broad River, about 14 miles upstream from the festival site, to be home to a new production facility, as well as a proposed restaurant and gift shop. Food offerings include a variety of local food truck favorites -- the Lowdown, Our Taco, Gypsy Queen and Ursa Minor.

To ease parking woes, RiverLink will be offering shuttle service from a satellite parking are at 144 Riverside Drive, the property known as The RiverLink Sculpture and Performance Plaza. The public and RiverFest volunteers are encouraged to park in this lot and take advantage of the shuttle service. A map to this property is located here: 

The schedule of events for the day:
1:00 - 1:30 pm - Opening Ceremonies, Kids Parade
1:30 - 2:00 pm - Kyle J. Brown, the Sidewalk Juggler
2:00 - 3:00 pm - Live music -- Nikki Talley Duo
3:00 - 3:30 pm - Claire Dimi, Bellydancing
3:30 - 4:30 pm - Live music -- Mountain Feist
4:30 - 5:00 pm - Asheville Aerial Arts
5:00 - 5:05 pm - Announcement of Raft Contest Winner
5:05 - 7:00 pm - Headlining band - The Galen Kipar Project
Other ongoing activities include tubing with Asheville Adventure Rentals, cornhole, disc golf, hula-hooping with Caitlin Gliedman of Hooping Hearts, and more.

Volunteers are still needed to make this a fun and successful event! In exchange for their time and hard work, volunteers receive a free t-shirt and a free drink per shift. If you're interested in volunteering, please contact the RiverLink's Director of Volunteer Services, Dave Russell, at or 252-8474, ext. 11.

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