Singing the Blues at Ridgway RiverFest 2021 on August 28

The Jack Hadley Band, a blues trio from Denver, will headline the Ridgway RiverFest at Rollans Park in Ridgway, Colo. on Saturday, August 28. The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership (UWP) is bringing back all the fun of previous years with its free festival and biggest fundraiser, after a year off during the 2020 pandemic.

“Local businesses as well as several recreation businesses in Durango and other Colorado cities have stepped up generously to support this year’s festival so the community can come out to celebrate the Uncompahgre River and watershed,” said RiverFest Coordinator Tanya Ishikawa. “We have great music planned from Jack Hadley as well as a warm-up act, Doug and Heather, a popular local duo who performs their own style of Americana. Our river races are back with the low-flow edition to match late-summer water levels in the river. Plus, we have the food, drinks, amazing silent auction, and new watershed learning activities this year.”

UWP is a Ouray County nonprofit engaged in diverse activities to improve and protect the natural, scenic and economic resources of the Upper Uncompahgre Watershed. Projects such as mine remediation and water quality monitoring are funded by grants and donations from individuals, companies, foundations and government agencies. The RiverFest is not only a way to raise funds for general operation, but also a way to inform stakeholders about watershed ecology, health and issues.

RiverFest’s top sponsors of 2021 are Double RL Ranch, Alpine Bank, Ridgway Mountain Market, Town of Ridgway, Rocky Mountain Cannabis, and Wolfpaw Ranch. Several sponsors will have booths with free giveaways and information at the festival.

Highlights of this year’s festival include:

  • Festival music headliner the Jack Hadley Band features Hadley’s amazing voice and blues guitar talent, and music by local Americana duo Doug & Heather features guitar, upright bass and heartfelt songs. Plus, Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, who will share stories about the Ute culture and heritage.
  • The Junk of the Unc welcomes entrants to bring their own homemade crafts to float (and possibly carry) across the water to the finish line. In addition to the amazing handcrafted award given out to Junk winners each year, the 2021 winner will receive a Sawyer Summit Kayak Paddle (a $335 value!) donated by Alpacka Raft!
  • Inflatables Bonanza, a low-flow edition of river races, where only inflatable crafts can compete on a short course on the Uncompahgre River for chances to win the prized RiverFest awards, handcrafted by Ridgway artist Joann Taplin.
  • The Rubber Ducky Race is ON! Ducky entries are one for $10 and three for $20 to have a chance to win Two Nights for Two People in a Casita at Basecamp 550 – valued at $320! Second and third place winners will get RiverFest shirts and free drinks. For the first time in 2021, entries can be made online in advance of RiverFest!
  • The River Rat Marketplace Silent Auction offers a chance to get great deals on gift certificates from golf clubs, restaurants, outfitters, resorts, and other companies, plus books, river gear, and a variety of great gifts.
  • Food will be offered from Double Barrel Taco and Mountain Country BBQ, and drinks from The Liquor store (magnificent margaritas) and Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery (marvelous microbrews).
  • An updated and improved watershed learning center with representatives from several natural resource agencies and nonprofits will share information and fun, interactive activities.

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