More than 500 members of the community gathered at Discovery Village on June 14 for the first annual Riverfest. The was a huge success, thanks to the many sponsors, partners and volunteers, plus all the musicians, exhibitors and watermen who spent the afternoon celebrating the beautiful environment and heritage of the rivers and the rural landscape of Southern Anne Arundel County.
The West/Rhode Riverkeeper produced the event in partnership with the Southern Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce. It was funded by a grant from the Four Rivers Heritage Area and a major sponsorship from The Brick Companies, with additional support from Discovery Village, Smith Brothers, the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau, Chesapeake Yacht Club, Zancan Press, Medart Galleries, Real Chill Heating and Air Conditioning, Catherine’s Draperies & Boat Canvas, Hartge Yacht Harbor, Folklore Society of Greater Washington, Reilly Benefits, Bay Area Disposal, Anne Arundel County Recycling, WNAV and Christopher’s Fine Foods.
Lighthouse Limousines generously donated the use of a shuttle to satellite parking provided by the Shady Side Elementary School and the Shady Side Community Center. The parking lots were managed by the South Anne Arundel County to benefit their “Bountiful Backpacks” program to feed disadvantaged children in the community.
Annapolis Community Boating provided free kayak rides to more than 100 kids and their parents, and a number of environmental groups, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Oyster Restoration Program (left), had interactive projects to help kids learn about the environmental issues impacting the rivers.
The Anne Arundel County Watermen’s Association revived the traditional “Blessing of the Fleet,” with about a dozen watermen parading their workboats under an arc of water as the Rev. Dr. Patricia Sebring, the new pastor at the Galesville United Methodist Church, blessed them for a safe season of harvest on the water.
For a photo blog by Rob Marshall of Marshall 3rd Photography, follow this link to South River Source.
Riverfest II will take place at Discovery Village in Shady Side on Saturday, June 13, 2015.