RiverFest: A Party with a Purpose, will be held July 16 - 21 to celebrate the St. Croix River and to encourage people to get out and enjoy the river while recognizing the need to preserve and protect it. This six-day community event is made possible through the collaboration of many partner organizations and individuals who unite to provide a wide assortment of activities to appeal to people of all ages and different levels of interest.

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center is one of the many partner organizations who will host events during RiverFest. Join us on Tuesday, July 16 at 11:30 a.m. at Lakefront Park Picnic Point to learn about the many wildlife species that share our ecosystem and meet live animal ambassadors. On Wednesday, July 17 at 7 p.m. Carpenter Nature Center will host an evening prairie hike at their Wisconsin Campus Trail.

Hudson Area Public Library joins RiverFest by offering river themed events, including Toddler Story Time on Tuesday, July 16 at 10:15 a.m. On Wednesday, July 17 at 10:30 a.m. a naturalist from Willow River State Park will introduce children to animals from the St. Croix River. On Saturday, July 20 at 10:30 a.m. Echo the Mermaid will be visiting the Library to share stories about the St. Croix River.

The city of Hudson will present the Toonies ENVIRO-FUN Puppet Show on Tuesday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lakefront Bandshell. The Toonies will bring together viewers of all ages in environmental awareness, teamwork and fun.

Also, on Tuesday, The Phipps Center for the Arts will host a Pop-up Art + Nature activity at the Art Bench (at the south end of the park) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a hands-on opportunity to learn about nature and be creative. Throughout RiverFest, students from the Phipps "Deluxe River Exploration" class will work with artist Liz Malanaphy to transform the trash and recyclables collected during the river clean-up to create a new "skin" for the Scrappy sculpture, the RiverFest mascot.

The St. Croix County Sportsman's Alliance, and Hudson Rod, Gun and Archery Club will sponsor a Kids Fishing Derby on Saturday, July 20 from 8-10 a.m. on the southwest bay of Lake Mallalieu. The derby is for children ages 6-12 with prizes for all. Mentors, bait and some fishing poles will be provided.

The St. Croix County Historical Society will host its annual Civil War Encampment and Ice Cream Social on Sunday, July 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Octagon House Museum. Re-enactors will share stories of the life of a Civil War soldier and visitors can enjoy an old-fashioned ice cream social fundraiser.

Additional RiverFest event partner organizations include: Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, Sustain Hudson, Youth Action Hudson, Prescott Guards Volunteer Infantry, Hudson YMCA, Willow River State Park, Wisconsin DNR, St. Croix River Cruises, Hudson Inclusion Alliance, Bernick's Pepsi-Cola, Hudson Dairy Queen and Hudson County Market.

Other activities scheduled for the week include a Thursday evening concert by the St. Croix Valley Community Band, a Friday evening RiverFest Nature Boat Cruise and a Saturday Native American Celebration.

It wouldn't be possible for community events like RiverFest to happen without the generous financial support of local sponsors. We are happy to welcome back Nor-Lake as the RiverFest Event Sponsor. Be sure to stop by their booth during the Thursday concert to thank them for their support. The Native American Program Sponsors are Native American Tourism of Wisconsin, St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin and St. Croix Casino. The Premier Sponsors are Ciranda, Hudson House Grand Hotel and Sustain Hudson. Major Sponsors are Family Fresh Market, Royal Credit Union and Hudson Daybreak Rotary Club. Media Sponsors are Hudson Star-Observer, TwinCities.com/Pioneer Press, Hudson Neighbors Magazine, and Valpak. Supporting Sponsors are Citizens State Bank, First American Bank, First National Community Bank, Wendy Peterson Insurance Agency, Wiseway Transportation Services and Xcel Energy. RiverFest Investor Sponsors are Bayport Marina, Catalyst Sports Medicine, Fresh & Natural Foods, Gavic Construction Corporation, Hudson Hot Air Affair, SEASONS on St. Croix Gallery, The Purple Tree, Uline and Valley Orthodontics.

For details about ReverFest events and a complete list of activities, visit StCroixRiverFest.org or like us on Facebook at Hudson St. Croix RiverFest.