Skowhegan’s River Fest is set for Tuesday through Aug. 3. Where logs once bobbed and turned along the river there are now canoes, kayaks and rafts.

River Fest features all-day free raft rides in the Kennebec River Gorge, a canoe and kayak race, and a glow stick river run held at dusk where participants illuminate themselves and their watercraft for a visually striking river experience.

There will plenty of activities off the water as well, including the Lions Club’s Chicken Barbecue, the Rotary Club’s Lobster Bake, and Moonlight Madness where teams of five race beds on wheels along Water Street, vendors line the downtown offering fried Oreos, live music, rock climbing, and the dunk tank.

New this year is an antiquity appraisal show hosted by the GFWC Women’s Clubs where you can listen to Victoria Hatch’s The Sunday Project play jazz while you get your antique appraised. Proceeds will benefit Senior Spectrums Meals on Wheels.

Saturday, Aug. 2, is River Fest’s family fun day featuring free raft rides with Moxie Outdoor Adventures, the rock climbing wall, and Main Street Skowhegan’s annual craft fair.

Headlining the Bloomfield’s Tavern beer garden and live music tent Saturday evening is 2014 Blues Music Award nominee, Dave Keller.

Saturday evening concludes with fireworks at dusk over the Great Eddy on the Kennebec River.

The following River Fest events are planned.


Lion’s Club Chicken Barbecue, noon-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m., Big Top in the Municipal Parking Lot. Lunch and dinner will be presented by the Skowhegan Lions Club. Tickets cost $11 and include one half barbecued chicken.

Classic Car Cruise-In, 4:30-7 p.m., Big Top in the Municipal Parking Lot. Classic, restored and modified cars from the area will be on display.

Skowhegan Community Band concer, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Big Top in the Municipal Parking Lot.

Wednesday, July 30

Farmers’ Market, 3-6 p.m., Somerset Grist Mill. The Maine Grain Alliance mobile wood-fired pizza oven will be out cooking pizza.

Riverfest Antiquity Appraisal Show, 4-7 p.m., Big Top in the Municipal Parking Lot. Sunday Project will perform a jazz concert during the event. A portion of the appraisal fee will support a charitable cause. Hosted by the Skowhegan Three Women’s Clubs.

Jazz Concert by The Sunday Project, 5-7 p.m., Big Top in the Municipal Parking Lot. Victoria Hatch’s The Sunday Project will perform jazz tunes during antique appraisals.

River Fest Pub Crawl, 5-10 p.m., multiple locations with shuttle service provided between area drinkeries. Pub Crawl shuttle will service Bloomfields Tavern, Southside Tavern, Old Mill Pub, TB’s Outback Tavern and Heritage House.

Thursday, July 31

Moonlight Madness, 6-10 p.m. (streets close at 5 p.m.) Water and Commercial streets, downtown, presented by the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce. Hosted by the Recreation Department, live bands, vendors, and the famous bed races.

Annual Bed Races, 7 p.m., downtown Water Street, hosted by the Skowhegan Recreation Department, teams of five compete head-to-head by pushing beds on caster wheels down Water Street.

Sundowner Canoe and Kayak Race, three-mile race for kayaks and canoes. Registration, 4:30-6 p.m.; race, 6:30 p.m. at the swinging bridge. Presented by Southside Tavern.

Friday, Aug. 1

Skowhegan Rotary Club Lobster Bake, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Big Top in the Municipal Parking Lot. Presented by the Skowhegan Rotary Club. Pricing: single lobster meal $14, double lobster meal $24, hamburger meal $8, hotdog meal $5. Tickets are available at the Chamber, Hammond Lumber, or a Rotarian.

Drivers and Duffers Golf Classic, noon registration, 1 p.m. tee-of, Lakewood Golf Course, Madison.

Glow Stick River Run, 8:30 p.m., U.S. Route 2 boat landing/rest area/

Saturday, Aug. 2

Raft rides, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (last ride at 3 p.m.), Kennebec River gorge (sign up at and get a ride from the Big Top in the Municipal Parking Lot). Free rafting rides in the gorge all day sponsored by Moxie Outdoor Adventures, organized by the Skowhegan Recreation Department.

River Fest Craft Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Big Top in the Municipal Parking Lot. Main Street Skowhegan presents this multi-vendor craft fair.

Move More Kids Day, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Farmers’ Market. Presented by the New Balance Foundation and Greater Somerset Public Health Collaborative. Featuring hula hooping, potato sack races, bean bag toss and tons more.

Family activities, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Big Top in the Municipal Parking Lot. Family events and games presented by Skowhegan Parks and Recreation. Rock wall, rock painting, fishing at trout pond (transportation provided), watermelon eating contest and more.

Live Music and Beer Garden, 4-10 p.m., Big Top in the Municipal Parking Lot. Hosted by Bloomfields Tavern. Dave Keller Band, 5-8 p.m. Designated areas for Beer Garden customers.

Farmers’ Market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Fireworks, 9 p.m., Great Eddy. View the fireworks from downtown, from the pedestrian bridge, or from the eddy.

Sunday, Aug. 3

Ron Paquette Road Race, registration, 6 a.m.; race starts at 7:30 a.m., corner of High and Court streets. In honor of Skowhegan native Ron Paquette, long time runner and 2012 inductee into the Maine Running Hall of Fame. Race proceeds will benefit the Wounded Heroes Program of Maine. Cost is $15 race day.

Concert in Coburn Park, 5-6:15 p.m. Part of the 21st summer series featuring Celtic music by the Community Orchestra. Refreshments by Skowhegan Three Women’s Clubs.

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