‘Riverfest’ seeks to draw hundreds to banks of Appomattox River

By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Twitter: @DinwiddieMonitr
Posted: April 26, 2019 | 1:45 p.m.

DINWIDDIE – The warm weather and steady breezes of spring will be perfect complements to the banks of the Appomattox River as hundreds are expected to embark on a riverside adventure at Riverfest this weekend.

The annual event hosted by the Friends of the Lower Appomattox River will kick off Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Appomattox Riverside Park at 24909 Ferndale Road where the picturesque rocky rapid falls find their home between the communities of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, and the City of Petersburg.

“For those with favorite activities and attractions at RiverFest each year, we’re good! Just about all of the amazing exhibits, attractions, and activities are back as part of the 2019 RiverFest,” said Wendy Austin, Executive Director, FOLAR. “In addition to the favorites, there will also be new and fun family adventure activities. We are so pleased to have Fort Lee as an activities co-sponsor, and Dinwiddie County as a marketing partner.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to climb, explore, fish, paddle, learn, eat, drink, and be active at one of the most pristinely-beautiful spots in all of Central Virginia on the glorious Appomattox River at this year’s RiverFest. There will be nearly three dozen regional exhibit partners, delicious food, live music, and a myriad of exciting outdoor activities.

In addition to the yearly crowd favorites, there are new events likely to draw some fans, including a 25-foot-tall climbing wall provided by the Virginia National Guard, where festival-goers can test their climbing skills while building self-confidence. 

There will be youth fishing workshops provided by the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. 

For a real thrill, catch the kayaking workshops with instructors from Fort Lee Morale, Welfare, and Recreation. Have fun and learn with the archaeological activities and demonstrations, and try the obstacle course with Fort Lee. View rare fauna along the trails with a naturalist and actually observe and learn about the fish, reptiles, amphibians, bugs, and birds that help keep the river healthy, with Environment Education Specialists and AWARE, Alliance of Wild Animal Rehabilitators and Educators.

Fishing lines and tunes will be on hand along with a variety of other river activities for this year’s Riverfest along the banks of the Appomattox River this weekend. (Rodger Allen Kidd)

In addition, visitors can stroll or ride a tram along the River Walk Trail that provides great views of the beautiful river while partaking in all the various food options on hand and enjoying the live music of Johnny Jones & Friends.

This year’s program contributors include Appomattox River Soil and Water Conservation District; Blacksmith This year’s Grizzly Forge; Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Dinwiddie Master Gardeners; Friends of the Lower Appomattox River, FOLAR; Matoaca Village History; Petersburg Area Regional Tourism; Petersburg Battlefield Foundation; Pocahontas Chapter-Virginia Master Naturalists; RVA Goats and Honey; Sports Backers RVA; Virginia American Water;  Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation; Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; Virginia Department of Forestry; Virginia Native Plant Society; and many more.

There will be plenty of off-site parking at three locations. Site-accessible parking for individuals with disabilities will be available. There will be two shuttle buses running back-and-forth throughout the day. Parking sites will be located at Bank of McKenney, 6300 River Road, Petersburg 23803; Matoaca Elementary School, 6627 River Road, Petersburg 23803; and Matoaca United Methodist Church, 6301 River Road, South Chesterfield 23803. The event is open to the public. 

A $5 donation is suggested at the gate to help FOLAR continue its tremendous mission to conserve and protect the Appomattox River for all to enjoy. 

FOLAR also thanked their sponsors and supporters who help make Riverfest a success, including Southside Electric Cooperative, Appomattox River and Soil Conservation District, WestRock, Container First Services, Dinwiddie County, and Hopewell Recreation & Parks. 

“FOLAR takes great pride in working with the community on projects along the Appomattox,” said Austin. “We recently hosted a very successful River Trail 5K in Prince George County. We also had the grand opening of the Hopewell Riverwalk. We continue to conduct cleanups along the river, work to make areas accessible for individuals with disabilities, and constantly strive to make the beautiful Appomattox River a place of peace, joy, beauty, and fun not only for us, but for future generations. Everyone can make a difference. Please contact FOLAR if you can give of your time, energy, resources, or funds to help us continue our work.”

Additional event information can be found at www.folar-va.org, or Facebook, or email at Contactus@folar-va.org, or by calling (804) 543-0325.

Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
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