Festival Schedule

As of March 23, the board and staff of the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership (UWP) has made the difficult decision to cancel the Ridgway RiverFest scheduled on June 27, 2020. We believe there is too much uncertainty about the next few months during the COVID-19 disaster emergency for us to confidently plan a large public gathering to take place three months from now. We understand that due to the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by local, state and national governments, sponsors are facing uncertainty about finances and many other aspects of their operations and personal lives.

We look forward to the community’s support of the Ridgway RiverFest in June 2021. We continue to be grateful for any donations that businesses and individuals can provide in 2020, to help UWP achieve its goals of protecting and improving our watershed resources. Water is always important to our lives, during good times as well as difficult ones.

The Ridgway RiverFest is a family-friendly celebration of the Uncompahgre River, our watershed and river recreation with all-age river races, live music, local food and drink, kids’ activities, watershed educational and cultural programs.  The highlight of the day is the infamous “Junk of the Unc” race in which boaters maneuver their craft,  constructed from scrap materials not intended for river travel, through whitewater rapids and others’ junk, trying to keep it all intact for the 0.5 mile finish line.

RiverFest is produced by the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership, a Ouray County nonprofit watershed group dedicated to helping protect the economic, natural, and scenic values of the Upper Uncompahgre River Watershed.

We regret that due to the festival cancellation our musical acts have one less gig on their summer schedules. We were so excited to have secured Lacey Black as our warm-up act and Jack Hadley as the main act, and hope to get them back for the 2021 RiverFest. Until then, please check out their music and support their music:



River Races – the Main Events!

Everyone who comes to the Ridgway RiverFest has a chance to get WET and enjoy the river. You can wade in the eddy and along the riverbanks or play on your watercraft in the middle of the river. For those who are more competitive, we have a few river races you can join. The Ridgway RiverFest features:

  • Junk of the Unc homemade boat competition
  • Rubber Ducky Race (or Rubber Ducky Hunt during extremely high flows)
  • Three boat race categories: inflatables, hard shell boats, and stand up paddle boards.

Learn more on our River Races Page.


(2021 Schedule coming in spring 2021)


9-10:30 a.m.                  River race registration

10:00 a.m.                      Silent Auction bidding begins

10 a.m.-4 p.m.               Watershed Education demonstrations including River Bug Science,                                           Renewable Energy display, Fly Fishing instruction, etc.

10 a.m.-4 p.m.               Kids Eddy activities: snow cones by Voyager Youth Program,                                                      face painting, solar oven cookies, and more

10 a.m.-6 p.m.               Food by The Ice Box and Ouray Cafe & Steakhouse

Beer by Colorado Boy & Margaritas by Glenda the Blenda

10:30 a.m.                      River race safety briefing

11:00 a.m.                      Safety Rope Bag toss contest

11:30 a.m.                      River races: SUPS, Kayaks and Rafts (please no inner tubes this year due to high flows)

12:30-1:30 p.m.            Ute cultural presentation by Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk

2 p.m.                              Junk of the Unc homemade river-craft race

2:30 p.m.                        Rubber Ducky Hunt (due to high river flows, we are having a hunt                                           for ducks in the grove with a Grand Prize of a One-Day Jeep                                                       Rental with Rockin’ K Jeep Rentals

3-6 p.m.                          Live Music by Sugar & the Mint

4:30 p.m.                        River Race Awards Ceremony

5:00 p.m.                        Silent Auction bidding closes & winners pick up items

6:00 p.m.                        Music and Festival end

web_0599 Boaters   JunkWinners  web_0123IMG_7236



  1. We are a food truck and are interested in participating in your 2020 festival. Can you please send information and the entry fee amount. We do baked potatoes, wraps, and sandwiches.


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