River Races


Rubber Ducky Race

The Rubber Ducky Race is ON! This is the perfect year to float rubber duckies on the Uncompahgre River. Please purchase a Ducky entry (one for $10 and three for $20) to have your chance to win Two Nights for Two People in a Casita at Basecamp 550 (valued at $320 for a stay between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 2021). Second and third place winners will get a RiverFest Shirt and a free drink. Online sales ended at noon on Friday, Aug. 27. We will send your prize to you if you win! In-person sales start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, and end at 3 p.m. The race will be held after 3 p.m.

The Main Events at RiverFest

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 winners of the Junk of the Unc and Inflatables Bonanza win a prized RiverFest award, handcrafted by Ridgway artist Joann Taplin. Plus, in 2021, the Junk of the Unc winner will receive a Sawyer Summit Kayak Paddle valued at $335, donated by Alpacka Raft!!

Updated information will be available by August 25, 2021, but due to weekly and daily changes in river conditions, final race details can be decided on race day only.

2021 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. During low flows, Junk competitors should plan for the possibility of carrying their craft through the low water to get to the end of the course! Get tips and lots of information on what it takes to compete in this wacky race on the Junk of the Unc page.

Special for 2021 – Junk of the Unc Top Prize is a Sawyer Kayak Paddle from Alpacka Raft.

Alpacka Sawyer Paddle

2021 Inflatables Bonanza

Instead of a full race with all categories going from Rollans Park down to the Ridgway Reservoir, we will only be allowing inflatable crafts on the Uncompahgre River course this year. So, please bring your favorite inner tube, light and small kayak, and other inflatables to compete for a one-of-a-kind award and the admiration of all festival goers!

More River Activities!

Safety Bag Toss, Skipping Rocks, What Else? We don’t know yet but we hope you’ll join us to play in the water on August 28.


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.

REGISTRATION FEES for the Boat Races and Junk of the Unc:

$20 for 1 race

$30 for multiple races

$5 for each additional boat member

FREE for festival sponsors ($250 or higher sponsorship levels)


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


Get a FREE festival shirt when you turn in your race bib

$15 for each additional t-shirt (discounted from $25)

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