Last updated 11:22PM ET
December 14, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Area Riverfests To Celebrate Great Flows
(2008-06-05)
(ksut) - HOST LEADS: Our great winter snows are feeding area rivers.
Over the next few weeks, two festivals in Southwest Colorado will celebrate the great springtime runoff, and give folks a reason to get on the water.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: The fun actually begins this Saturday, with the Dolores River Festival.
GANS: THE RIVER IS VERY INVITING, IT'S BIG AND BROWN AND BUBBLY AND IT'S GREAT FOR RAFTING. IT'S GOING TO BE A COMPLETELY ACTION PACKED DAY STARTING AT 7AM.
That's when the fun run begins.
Shaine Gans, coordinator of this years Dolores River Festival, says most of the other activities begin at ten.
GANS: THE FESTIVAL GATES WILL OPEN AT TEN AM AND WE'RE STARTING MUSIC RIGHT UP ON THE SIDE STAGE THEN ON THE MAIN STAGE THERE WILL BE CONSECUTIVE MUSIC ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE DAY FROM TEN AM ALL THE WAY UNTIL NINE O'CLOCK PLUS AT NIGHT, AND WE'LL ALSO BE DOING FREE RAFT RIDES ON A SHORT RUN THROUGH THE DOLORES RIVER.
Eleven local and national bands are set to perform.
There will also be a river dog contest, kayak race, nature walks, children activities and more.
Gans says the festival, sponsored by the Greater Dolores Action group, is expected to draw 2 to 3 thousand people for the one day.
There is a small admission for those 21 and older, and camping will be available in Joe Rowell park.
Volunteers to help out are also still needed.
Information on volunteering and the festival itself can be found online to doloresriverfestival.com.
The Dolores isn't the only area river running high and hosting a festival.
The Animas River will be in the spotlight June 20th, 21st and 22nd.
KIMPLE: THE RIVER ITSELF, YOU KNOW, THIS IS THE HEART AND SOUL OF THIS TOWN SO WHEN IT RUNS BIG, EVERYONE LOVES IT.
Aaron Kimple is with Animas Riverkeepers and is coordinator of Durango's 2008 Animas River Days.
KIMPLE: WE HAVE WAY MORE EVENTS THIS YEAR.
He says they kickoff this year with a boat parade down the Animas Friday night.
Saturday will include a Slalom Race, a Rodeo, downriver race, fly-fishing and dog competitions, and a new event Kimple refers to as "The Dud."
KIMPLE: IT'S CALLED THE DOWN UP DOWN, BACKCOUNTRY EXPERIENCE IS PUTTING ON EVENT WHERE YOU JUMP INTO AN INFLATABLE DUCKIE, PADDLE DOWN RIVER. RUN BACK UP RIVER, GRAB A PUSH SCOOTER, SOAP BOX SCOOTER AND RUN THAT BACK DOWN RIVER, SO THE DOWN UP DOWN....YOU CAN RUN THE DUD.
In a bid to attract more participation it's not all hardcore competition events.
Kimple says there are plenty of activities planned for the average person both on the water and off, thanks to a new collaboration with the city.
Heidi Schaiberger of Durango Parks and Rec is overseeing those events.
SCHAIBERGER: WE'RE KIND OF PULLING WHAT OUR ORIGINAL FESTIVAL WAS LAST YEAR, THE DURANGO ROCKS SUMMERFEST, INTO ANIMAS RIVER DAYS, SO WE'RE PULLING IN THE MUSIC AND FOOD AND BEVERAGE VENDORS, AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A KIDS ACTIVITY ZONE THAT FOR THE MOST PART WILL BE FREE FOR KIDS TO PARTICIPATE. THERE'S ALSO GOING TO BE A LOT OF ARTS AND CRAFTS VENDORS THIS YEAR, SO WE'RE HOPING TO REALLY FILL THE PARK UP AND HAVE A LOT OF ENERGY AND GREAT ATMOSPHERE.
Three bands will perform with all events from 11-6 Saturday at Santa Rita Park.
Then Sunday at Santa Rita, there will be an Animas River Days pancake breakfast and other events before and after a daylong river cleanup.
Kimple says despite inconsistencies in dates and even a few missed years, the Animas River Days is starting to see some growth.
KIMPLE: WE PROBABLY HAD ABOUT A THOUSAND PEOPLE LAST YEAR AND THIS YEAR WE'RE HOPING TO GET UPWARDS OF THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE A DAY, IS KIND OF WHAT WE'RE PROJECTING. I WANT THE CITY AND THIS COMMUNITY TO EMBRACE THIS DAY AS, HEY, THIS IS OUR RIVER, WE'RE OUT HERE TO CELEBRATE IT.
You can find the complete festival schedule and info on parking and transit options online at animasriverkeeper.org.
If you want to volunteer to help out, call Heidi at 375-7306 or stop by the Rec Center.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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