Don't miss River Fest in Paonia Saturday

Photo by Ben Lehman The band Mojo is returning to the 2018 River Fest.

The Western Slope is getting ready for Western Slope Conservation Center's 18th annual River Fest on Saturday, June 2. This year, the Conservation Center is celebrating Paonia River Park and the greater North Fork watershed with a day-long, family-friendly festival. Music, games, food, and festivities will be enjoyed from 3 to 9:30 p.m. at the Paonia River Park. The festival is free and open to all.

The festival will feature live music from local artists, food, beer garden, community mural painting, games and kids' activities. Come bid on silent auction items from Yeti, Chaco, RIGS, SK Bikes, Shadescapes, Earth Friendly Supply, Blue Heron Yoga, Western Slope SUP, Montrose Kayak and Surf, REI, Whitewater West, Peaceful Waters, Black Bridge Winery and more. A new addition to the activities this year is the "All Forked Up!" raft race. Contestants will build a raft out of approved, recycled materials and race it down a section of the North Fork River! A build night is planned Wednesday, May 30, where you can find a team and get engineering help. Kids 14 and under can visit the raft-building station at River Fest to make their vessels before the races start at 4:30 p.m. There will be prizes for all divisions. For a chance at winning even more prizes, get your costumes on and enter the Birds and Beasts costume contest.

Tickets will also be on sale for a dynamite river-ready raffle item: a brand new Hyside Mini-Max boat, complete with custom Welfelt frame and Cataract oars, a $4,300 value. Tickets are $20 each or six for $100. Get them while you can. Only 500 will be sold.

The Conservation Center would like to recognize the generous sponsors whose donations have helped to put on this year's River Fest. Many thanks to Colorado Department of Health and Environment, Colorado Water Conservation Board, Four Seasons Investments, Delta County Tourism Board, Western Colorado Realty, Yoka Design, Lehman Images, United Companies, Solar Energy International, Delta County Memorial Hospital, Kevin Parks State Farm Insurance, The Pack Shack, Trout Unlimited, Gunnison Gorge Anglers, Fly Fishers International, and High Country News.

To learn more about the "All Forked Up" raft race and see the River Fest schedule, RSVP to the events on Facebook or head over to More questions? Call 970-527-5307 or stop by 204 Poplar Avenue in Paonia.

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