Tappahannock Seal
Essex County Seal
Tappahannock RivahFest
Tappahannock-Essex RivahFest History

It's vintage Americana, it's fun for the whole family, and it's less than an hour's drive away! Don't miss the annual Tappahannock RivahFest, celebrated the third Saturday of June.

The event is truly a community creation, involving more than 500 volunteers and sponsorship by organizations ranging from health facilities and insurance companies to auto repair businesses and law firms.

Attracting 12,000 visitors last year and anticipating 14,000 this weekend, the RivahFest offers every element of a classic, small-town, summer festival.

You've got your contests. Competition will include a catfish fishing contest for men, women and children in categories--including "smallest catch"--with exciting monetary prizes--$100 for the largest fish in the children's contest. Participants can fish either from the banks or from their boats.

In addition, last year's sensation, the "hole-in-one" contest, will be featured again this year; golfers will vie for prizes as they hit their balls toward targets floating on the river. The younger folks might opt to test their talents at the miniature golf course nearby.

The local fire department, which will open the festivities with a parade through town on Friday evening, will crown a winner in the Miss Flame competition on Saturday morning.

And, in the afternoon, 10 finalists, aged 12 to 18, will be competing in the "RivahFest Idol" singing contest for the opportunity to perform on the main stage and receive the $500 prize.

You've got your children's activities. The Fest will feature a number of inflatable play-scapes, including Camelot Castle, a moon-bounce/slide combo; the Monkey Motion Extreme, a trampoline/bungee-cord experience; and the Iron Man Challenge obstacle course with 85 feet of tubes, walls, tunnels and slides--as well as a smaller version called Wacky World for the younger kids. Youngsters can also test their skills in scaling a 28-foot rock-climbing wall.

In addition, many children's favorites will be on site, including face painting, balloon creations, sand art, and, in a uniquely Tappahannock event, kids can cheer on their favorites at the Crab Race tracks throughout the day.

You've got your displays and wares for sale. An antique and arts section will feature the works of more than 100 artisans and vendors. Dads may especially appreciate the boat and watercraft display and exhibits of antique cars and tractors.

Merchant's Market will feature displays of local businesses, non-profits and community organizations.

You've got your eats and entertainment. The Taste of Tappahannock section will feature festival foods such as cotton candy, funnel cakes, corn dogs and soft-serve ice cream, as well as specialties of local eateries.

This year's main-stage performers will be Carriage House Band, Cedar Creek and Showtyme Band. St. John's Choral Concerts will be featured at their air conditioned church on Duke Street; and the Eastern Virginia Christian Music Association will bring Gospel featuring six different acts to St. Margaret's campus second stage.

In addition, visitors can learn the lay of the land of Tappahannock through two venues. The Treasures of Tappahannock walking tour will highlight historical and architectural features of the area.

"This will be a wholesome, quality, fun-filled day for families," said RivahFest spokes-person Hank Verinder. "So many of the activities are free, and parents will have a chance to relive some of their own childhood memories."

Collette Caprara is a local artist and freelance writer for the Fredericksburg Free Lance Star.

Kevin Dolan - Chair 2003

Liz Martin - Chair 2004

Sharon James
Chair 2005/06 & 2012/13

Tyler Lowery
Chair 2007 & 2008

Katherine Newman
Co-Chair 2009-2011

Libbie Franklin
Co-Chair 2009-2011

Kristen Morris
Co-Chair 2012/13



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