Riverfest will Celebrate the Catawba River Basin at Lake James State Park



It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for; the 16th annual Catawba RiverFest will take place Sept. 21. It’s going to be a fantastic day highlighting conservation, community and our community’s businesses. Join us to celebrate the park system here in the Catawba River Basin and its critical importance to the quality of life we all enjoy.

The festival will take place at the Paddy’s Creek Area at Lake James State Park from, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Information and interactive booths about local conservation, outdoor recreation and historic organizations will allow visitors to learn and appreciate the story of the river, how it has shaped the region and the many challenges it faces today.

There will be opportunities to demo kayaks, canoes and paddleboards free of charge. The all-day raffle will feature prizes that include park posters, t-shirts, framed art, and the much-anticipated 9-foot kayak package. Raffle tickets will be available during the event. Attending the festival will earn you an entry into a raffle for Lake James State Park merchandise giveaways.

Events will be ongoing throughout the day with ranger-led boat tours and big canoe excursions - just visit the N.C. State Parks booth when you arrive and fill out the sign-up sheet. In addition to scheduled activities, there will be craft tables set up for take-home kid’s crafts throughout the day.

Some of the scheduled exhibitors include the Lake James Area Wildlife and Nature Society, Keep McDowell Beautiful, The Healing Dragons of Lake James, The Mountain Gateway Museum, The Catawba Valley Astronomy Club, McDowell Trails Association, Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Catawba Valley Heritage Alliance, Lake James Environmental Association and many more. Musical entertainment will ring out throughout the day courtesy of Alan Darveaux with Slight Departure. Local food vendors will have a variety of lunch options available.  

The Catawba RiverFest is sponsored by Lake James State Park, Duke Energy, the Catawba Valley Heritage Alliance, Burke County, and the Friends of Lake James State Park. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfLakeJamesStatePark or by calling (828) 584-7728.

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