Description

River Fest is Skowhegan's annual multi-day celebration of recreation and life on the Kennebec.

River Fest returns August 1 - 4, 2024 with new and oldie-but-goodies activities for the whole family! Designed to showcase the potential of the Kennebec River Gorge as the future home of the Skowhegan River Park, River Fest is Skowhegan's annual multi-day celebration of recreation and life on the Kennebec.

When: River Fest 2023 is scheduled for Thursday August 1 to Sunday August 4, 2024.

Designed to showcase the potential of the Kennebec River Gorge as the future home of Run of River, River Fest is Skowhegan's annual multi-day celebration of recreation and life on the Kennebec.

2023 River Fest Schedule

Where: Various location in downtown Skowhegan, Maine

2023 RIVER FEST SCHEDULE

The Municipal Parking Lot is located between High and Commercial streets.

Schedule is tentative and subject to change. Outdoor activities and other fun events to be added soon. Please check back for more details.

Join us in Skowhegan as we celebrate life on the river and the future Skowhegan River Park!

MONDAY, JULY 31, 2023

Grand Opening: Joe's Flat Iron Cafe
Doors open at 6 a.m. | 65 Water Street
Skowhegan's highly anticipated coffee shop and cafe is opening on Monday, July 31! Grab a coffee and food to go, or opt to relax with a cup of joe in a comfy seat! Learn more here.

Open House: Transportation & Trail Opportunities in Skowhegan
4:30-7 p.m. | The SPACE on the River, 181 Water Street
Join the Town of Skowhegan, Maine DOT, and traffic engineers from VHB to learn more about the Village Partnership Initiative that's currently in progress and discuss opportunities for transportation in Skowhegan, including traffic pattern change considerations and ways to make Skowhegan's village more welcoming and safe for pedestrians and bikes. BONUS: Check out a first draft of the Skowhegan Trail Master Plan that Main Street Skowhegan has been working on in partnership with the Outdoor Sport Institute.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 1, 2023

Canoe Meet Up with Skowhegan Outdoors
12-2 p.m. | Marti Stevens Learning Center
Join Skowhegan Outdoors at Marti Stevens Learning Center for a Canoe Meet Up on the Kennebec River! Canoes and Kayaks will be provided along with paddles and other safety equipment. We hope you join us outside during River Fest 2023 #joinusoutsideRegister here

National Night Out
5-8 p.m. | Coburn Park
Join the Skowhegan Police Department, Somerset County law enforcement agencies, and local organizations for free burgers and hot dogs, family activities, games, and more in Skowhegan's beloved Coburn Park.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2023

Speakeasy Fundraiser for Skowhegan's Early Learning Center
6-9 p.m. | Bigelow Brewing Company
The ladies of GFWC Semper Fidelis are planning a soiree to benefit Skowhegan's future Early Learning Center and the Build Better Beginnings campaign. Tickets are $40 per person and include hors d'oeuvres and music as well as raffles, door prizes, and a cash bar. Speakeasy attire strongly encouraged! Learn more here

Glowstick Paddle
7-9 p.m. | Cleaver Landing Boat Launch
Join Skowhegan Outdoors at Cleaver Landing for the River Fest Glow Stick Paddle 2023! Bring glow sticks to light up your watercraft while paddling down the Kennebec. We will launch at 7 p.m., so arrive early to decorate your boats! Register here

THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 2023

Whitewater Kayaking Clinic with Skowhegan Outdoors sponsored by Hammond Lumber Company
10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Cleaver Landing Boat Launch

Join Skowhegan Outdoors at Cleaver Landing Boat Launch for a Whitewater Kayaking Clinic! Boats and other equipment will be available. Skowhegan Outdoors Coordinator Ben Koehler will lead the course as a certified whitewater guide, lifeguard, and kayaking instructor. You will learn basic skills and safety before paddling down the Skowhegan Gorge in a kayak! Register here

Mickey Powers Memorial Lobster Bake
11 a.m.-7 p.m. | Municipal Lot next to Chamber of Commerce
Join the Rotary Club for their annual lobster bake and to honor former Rotarian and friend, Mickey Powers. Each dinner includes corn on the cob, a roll, butter, and a Bankery cookie. Proceeds support Skowhegan Rotary Club's charitable giving in the Central Maine area. Purchase your meal by July 31 for a $5 discount and reduced wait time. You may also purchase at the event.

Skowhegan Regional Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament
1 p.m. | Lakewood Golf Course
Hosted by the Skowhegan Regional Chamber of Commerce, this annual golf tournament can't be missed. Registration includes one round of 18 holes, one ticket for a lobster dinner, and one player’s portion of a cart. Register here

Thirsty Thursday Trivia
6 p.m. | Bigelow Brewing
Test your knowledge with Tyler! The tasting room will be open 4-8 p.m.

Bicentennial Parade
6 p.m. | Downtown Skowhegan

Presented by the River Fest Committee, the Bicentennial Parade will celebrate Skowhegan's past and bright future. Join us along Water Street to celebrate 200 years of Skowhegan! Register your float here

Maine Outdoor Film Festival Screening
8 p.m. (Doors at 7 p.m.) |  Riverfront Greenspace (behind 151 Water St.)
Presented by MOFF and Skowhegan Outdoors for your viewing pleasure. Visit Maine Outdoor Film Festival's website for more information!

FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 2023

Watercraft Demo Day with Skowhegan Outdoors
10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Cleaver Landing Boat Launch
Join the Skowhegan Outdoors team at Cleaver Landing Boat Launch for a Watercraft Demo Day! We will have Kayaks, Canoes, Stand Up Paddle Boards, and all the necessary safety equipment. Join us outside and try out something new! Register here

Moonlight Madness
5-9 p.m. | Downtown Skowhegan
We have a number of new activities planned for this Bicentennial edition of River Fest's annual street party! Check them out below!

Concessions

Dunk Tank 
Dunk your town favorites like Skowhegan's Chief of Police, Chief Bucknam, and more!

Bounce House

Climbing Wall

Axe Throwing
Throwing it back to log days!
Makers Market 
Calling all Maine Makers and Doers to sell your wares or demo your products! All are welcome. FREE to vend. Registration is closed!

Live Music
The Papa Tim Band and Borderline Express are scheduled to play in the Riverfront Greenspace and next to the Old Mill Pub!

Beer Gardens
Enjoy beverages at three outdoor beer gardens—behind Unwined, adjacent to the Old Mill Pub, and next to Bloomfield's—while listening to live music. 
Chainsaw Carving
Check out Dan Burn's artistry with a chainsaw.

Lumber Jack & Jill Runway - Walk for $100 and $50 Cash Prizes | 6 p.m.
Strut your stuff on the runway in your best lumberjack/lumberjill outfit and win prizes! Register here

Bed Races - Compete for the $250 and $100 Cash Prizes | 7 p.m. 
Hosted by Skowhegan Parks & Rec, teams of five compete for head-to-head in this madcap event by pushing beds on caster wheels down Water Street. See Parks & Rec for a registration form or register at Moonlight Madness until 6:30 p.m. For ages 14 and up.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 5, 2023

Move More Kids 5K FUN Run, Walk, Race
7:15 a.m. | Coburn Park
The Move More Kids 5K is an event designed to bring youth and families together for a fun, healthy activity. Registration starts at 7:15 AM, followed by a youth-run for ages 7 and younger at 8 AM. The 5K starts for all other age groups at 8:30 AM. The cash-only $5 registration fee includes a New Balance T-shirt, and proceeds support the MSAD #54/Somerset Career & Technical Center Food Pantry and Backpack Program. Register here

Inflatable Kayaking through the Skowhegan Gorge
9 a.m.- 4 p.m. | Skowhegan Gorge (Meet at Basecamp, 65 Water St.)
Join the Skowhegan Outdoors team for a float through the gorge on an inflatable kayak (called a ducky). We will run these trips in groups of 6 at the top of the hour. Registration is required. Register here

Brunch at Uwined
10 a.m.- Noon | 151 Water St.
Help Skowhegan's beloved wine bar, Unwined, celebrate their second anniversary with brunch!

River Days Family Activities
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Downtown Skowhegan
Bring the kids out for family activities including rock-wall climbing, a watermelon-eating contest, games by the river, including cornhole, Jenga, Connect 4, and Checkers, and more. Activities will include:

Bounce House

Axe Throwing

Face Painting and other crafts

Chainsaw Carving

Live Music - Cryin Out Loud will be rocking the Riverfront Greenspace!
Vendor Fair
Calling all Maine Makers and Doers to sell your wares or demo your products! All are welcome. FREE to vend. Registration is closed!

Dinner in the Park
5-10 p.m. | Coburn Park
Enjoy a delightful outdoor dining experience and a sky lit up with fireworks in beloved Coburn Park. The evening will include a cocktail hour, a locally sourced buffet dinner, live auction, live music, and fireworks over the river. Event hosted by Main Street Skowhegan. Proceeds to benefit Skowhegan revitalization projects. Purchase tickets here

Kennebec on Fire Sculpture Lighting 
8 p.m. | Great Eddy
Skowhegan's Kennebec on Fire installation -- five metal sculptures with fire braziers -- will be lit in the Great Eddy for the evening! Grab a seat at Coburn Park or at Philbrick Beach (located at the end of Joyce Street beyond the water treatment plant) for the best view!

Fireworks
9 p.m. | Great Eddy
Fireworks will light up the night sky. View this spectacular River Fest culmination from downtown, the eddy, or the pedestrian bridge. If there is a downpour or severe weather,  the rain date will be Sunday, Aug. 6. Please check the Skowhegan River Fest Facebook page for updates.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 2023

Bicentennial Celebration!

Noon - 4 p.m. | Coburn Park
Join us for the official Bicentennial Celebration!

Outdoor Games
Enjoy lawn games - Cornhole, Jenga, Connect 4, Checkers, and more!

Horse-drawn Wagon Rides in the Park
Join Seavey Farms for Wagon Rides around the park. Great for families!

Live Music
The Rob Burnell Band will be rocking the half shell for your enjoyment!

Down River Races
Race your watercraft through the Skowhegan Gorge to the finish line at Coburn Park! Head-to-head competition in several categories. Stay tuned for more details. Register here

Food Trucks
Brother Shuckers and Tara-bly Good Catering will be parked along Water Street in front of Coburn Park to help us celebrate Skowhegan's Bicentennial!

Why Things Fly with Bob Ray presented by Skowhegan Parks and Recreation
Kite creation demonstrations and kite flying in Coburn Park!

Biking around Coburn Park provided by Skowhegan Parks and Recreation

For more information and complete schedule of events, please visit RunofRiver.org/River-Fest

Photo credits: Brandie Burrill Photography

 

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