SKOWHEGAN — Riverfest, the town’s annual celebration of the Kennebec River and downtown, starts Friday and is expanding to 10 days this year.

The festival’s most prominent project, a proposed whitewater park in the Kennebec’s Skowhegan Gorge called Run of River, also is making headway.

“If everything goes as planned, the Monday after Riverfest, Florida Light and Power will lower the water level. Sackett and Brake will do a fly-over survey of the river; and Tuesday, McLaughlin White Water Design will start making the model, so it’s really moving right along,” festival organizer and Run of River chairman Greg Dore said Wednesday. “We’ve got over $26,000 in sponsorship this year for Riverfest and a lot of different participants. We’ve all really put our heads together on this one.”

Highlights of Riverfest events include the first event, the Wesserunsett Art Council Art Walk, from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday. Most events are scheduled to take place in or near downtown.

On Saturday, bread makers and enthusiasts will meet at the Artisan Bread Fair at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds. The popular event, sponsored by the Maine Grain Alliance, is free, although parking costs $2.

On Sunday, a motorcycle scavenger hunt will start at the Chamber of Commerce at noon. A three-on-three basketball tournament also is planned.

Monday features a shuttle-served pub crawl from 6 to 9 p.m.

On Tuesday, the Lions Club will host a chicken barbecue at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The later barbecue will feature a classic-car ride-in.

Wednesday is Move More Kids Day, featuring 1-kilometer and 5-kilometer fun runs from 3 to 7 p.m., starting at the Somerset Grist Mill parking lot. It’s also beano night.

On Thursday, organizers will bring back the Moonlight Madness celebration downtown, in addition to the Southside Tavern sundown canoe race.

The Rotary Club lobster bake is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, and the Chamber of Commerce golf tournament will be held at 1 p.m. that day.

Saturday, Aug. 4, is Riverfest’s family fun day, featuring raft rides down the river by Moxie Outdoor Adventure, a climbing wall, food and entertainment, all starting at 9 a.m.

Sunday, Aug. 5, will be another family fun day, with raft rides, food and music. The Paavo Carey quartet will perform at the Grist Mill, with food provided by The Bankery for $5. A free Coburn Park concert starts at 5 p.m., and fireworks will close the festival at dark over the Great Eddy, which is in the Kennebec River downriver from downtown.

For more information, call Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce at 474-3621.

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