River Races


The Main Events at RiverFest – even in this low-flow year!

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.

Junk of the Unc

Thrills and spills await brave boaters as they maneuver their junk craft through the Uncompahgre River at Rollans Park toward the finish line, about 100 feet downstream.  Winners must cross the line with most of their junk intact. Get tips and lots of information on what it takes to compete in this wacky race on the Junk of the Unc page.

See bottom of page for registration details.

Return of the Radical Rubber Ducky Races

Every festival-goer who signs up in 2018 will get a free entry into the Rubber Ducky Race. Additional ducky entries will be on sale at the RiverFest Survey Booth. Reserve your Ducky for a chance to win gift certificates to our amazing River Rat Marketplace (silent auction). $100, $50 and $25 certificates to top three placing duckies!

CHANGE FOR 2018: Inflatables Bonanza Race on the Uncompahgre short course replaces downstream Races

Please bring any item that can be inflated and floated on to Rollans Park on Saturday, June 30 morning and get in the race!

For this year’s RiverFest, due to historic low flows in the Uncompahgre Watershed, we are changing up the race format a bit. Instead of a 3-mile race down to the Ridgway Reservoir, we will have a massive inflatables race. You pick your craft – boat, tube, furniture, toy or other – whatever you think will bring you successfully across the finish line. All ages welcome as long as they follow racer guidelines below.

Sorry, rafts and canoes probably can’t maneuver well this year so are not recommended to be on the river (unless you want to do some carrying and are OK with the bottom scraping the rocks on the riverbottom). Hard shell kayaks and stand up paddle boards may also hit bottom and be difficult to use.

NEW for 2018 – Safety Rope Bag Toss Contest

It’s going to be FUN! With a minimal entry fee of $5, you can have a chance to throw a river bag with rescue rope to our “celebrity” floating in the middle of the river. Each entrant gets three tosses. The entrant with the best and closest toss will get a RiverFest trophy as well as a souvenir metal festival cup.


Race Registration

Racers register at the UWP Booth on the day of RiverFest, between 9 and 10:15 a.m. in Rollans Park, Ridgway, Colorado.

2018 REGISTRATION FEES for the Inflatables Bonanza and Junk of the Unc:

$20 for 1 race

$30 for multiple races

$5 for each additional boat member

FREE for festival sponsors ($100 or higher sponsorship levels)


Racers are required to bring their own Watercraft, PFD, Helmet, and Appropriate Footwear, plus Registration Fee


Get a FREE t-shirt when you turn in your race bib

$10 for each additional t-shirt (discounted from $15)

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