HUDSON -- RiverFest, St. Croix’s party with a purpose, is continuing to celebrate this year with a new, online venue July 21-25.
Due to concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, the weeklong event designed to bring awareness of the St. Croix River has gone virtual.
“We were naturally concerned that we didn’t want to be the reason for somebody getting sick,” organizer Buck Malick said. “And in addition, the city has limited the use of the city parks.”
RiverFest planners decided they didn’t want to cancel the event, so instead they’re trying the virtual option.
RiverFest, and its many partners, are transforming all the individual events and programs into videos that will launch online, at St. Croix RiverFest website and Facebook page.
The event is also working with River Channel community access to film and showcase the programs.
One event that will remain in-person is the river cleanup, which serves as an annual kickoff for RiverFest starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 21, as well as the dressing of Scrappy that follows. It is a core activity that demonstrates the purpose of the event.
Participants are asked to observe social distancing guidelines during the event. Anyone who wants to be involved can contact Malick at firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Trash bags will be available before the clean up at the RiverFest trailer on the corner of First and Vine streets.
Popular programming, including the Carpenter Nature Center Animals of St. Croix, Library Storytimes and the Native American Celebration, will be available online.
Videos will go live according to the event schedule, but be available online after the scheduled time for a while.
“This may work out well for some families even better than before in the sense that if they couldn’t be there Tuesday noon to watch the Carpenter Nature Center they can watch it on Wednesday or Thursday or in the evening, or if the kids like it they can watch it over and over,” Malick said.
All of RiverFest’s partners are still on board for the festival, despite the changes.
“Nobody has opted out, that’s kind of amazing in its own way,” Malick said.
For a full schedule of events and to view recorded programs, visit stcroixriverfest.org.