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Celebrating Riverfest


Narrowsburg has a proud tradition of summer and early fall festivals which, over the years, have celebrated eagles, barbeques, honeybees and the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) Riverfest. Since the festival originated in 1990 with the co-founding organization the Narrowsburg Chamber of Commerce, proud citizens have been able to walk Main Street while enjoying food vendors, shopping, live bands and the world’s greatest dog parade.

In anticipation of the big day, DVAA Executive Director Ariel Shanberg shared a bit about the history of the event and what to expect from this year’s festival, which starts rain or shine at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 28.

Main Street will be flooded, in the best sense of the word for a river town, with local artisans who in the past have sold their paintings, hand-turned wood works, ceramics, jewelry, loomed rugs and other unique treasures. Local businesses will also see huge crowds the day of the event.

Come hungry! All Narrowsburg restaurants will be open the day of the festival. This year will also feature the Riverfest Food Court. Expected participants include Pinks Tacos from the Stickett Inn, Luigi’s Italian Food Truck, Neversink General Store and cotton candy from Organic Fairy Floss. The DVAA will also have a food booth featuring sesame noodles, bean salad, lemonade, water and iced tea.

Enjoy your lunch with live entertainment. The Main Stage will feature bands at 10:30 and 2 p.m. The Farm Arts Collective stilt walkers will also be towering about.

Since its inception in 1992, the centerpiece of the festival has been the poster auction selling donated work from local artists. Bidding can be very competitive. Come armed with a strategy. Preview the posters earlier in the day before first-time Riverfest auctioneer Jeffrey Spitz brings out the gavel he inherited from long time auction leader and legend Tony Staffieri, who passed away since last year’s festival. Approximately 60 posters will be on the block, joining the over 1,000 which have been taken home during the history of the festival. All proceeds support DVAA’s exhibition program which creates opportunities for artists all year round.

The area’s most pedigreed citizens will be on display starting at 10 a.m. when the dog parade and costume contest begins. Interested participants should arrive at 9:30 to register with host Kevin McDonough. WJFF’s own “Catskill Character” Donna Fellenberg will be among the judges. Special thanks to Lance Brodmerkel and Karen Bliss for coordinating the event.

Other shout-outs include all artists donating posters, Jeff Bank, which is sponsoring the Main Stage, and festival sponsor, Catskill Regional Medical Center.

With the Narrowsburg Farmers’ Market open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. until mid-October, it’s sure to be a weekend full of fun. Auctions. Artisans. Parading dogs. Food trucks. Live music. Stilt Walkers. The DVAA Riverfest takes over Main Street—you don’t want to miss it. See you there.


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