Centered around Memorial Day weekend, the festival brings in entertainers from across the country and invites both humans and canines to participate in three days of activities. These activities range from wiener dog races and rafting trips to concerts and art shows.
Riverfest is put on through combined effort of the city and River Reach Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving local rivers. It kicks off its celebrations on Friday with a rock and blues concert by Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat and will continue through Sunday evening.
Jazz guitarist Joshua Breakstone to perform in Farmington
When Joshua Breakstone was a teenager, he sat down with jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan's album "Search for the New Land."
"There was something there that was really exciting, fiery, thrilling when he played," Breakstone said.
Although he didn't know much about jazz music, after hearing Morgan play, Breakstone knew he wanted to be a jazz musician.
Breakstone, now a well-known jazz guitarist, will be performing at noon Sunday at the Rocky Reach Landing as part of the 27th annual Riverfest celebration.
Although from New York, Breakstone has performed in Farmington many times and said he loves to visit New Mexico.
"When you're in Farmington, you know you're in New Mexico," he said.
Breakstone first started playing the guitar when some of his classmates in high school needed a guitar player for their band. However, while with the band, Breakstone didn't play jazz music.
"Nobody my age was listening to jazz," Breakstone said.
It wasn't until he heard "Search for the New Land" that Breakstone became interested in learning jazz. The album featured jazz guitarist Grant Green. Breakstone said when he heard Green play he initially thought Grant wasn't very good.
"The problem wasn't Grant's playing," Breakstone said.
After studying jazz, Breakstone began to appreciate Green's music.
Jazz took Breakstone to study under Sal Salvador, a bebop jazz guitarist who Breakstone described as a great teacher.
"He helped me advance my playing," Breakstone said.
He added no other teacher could have helped him advance as quickly as Salvador did.
After Breakstone started recording, Salvador continued to support him.
Artists gather to display work at arts and crafts fair
Around eight years ago, artists got together and decided to take part in the festivities at Riverfest.
Dolton Roberts Metal wall art, Capitan
Jason D. Chee Painting, Farmington
Marilyn Taylor Oil painting, Farmington
Edwin Whitesinger Painting, Chinle, Ariz.
Peter Kewitt Decorative gourd art, Durango, Colo.
Eric Hester Woodworking, Santa Fe
Shirlen Heath Lathe-turned wood vessels, Mancos, Colo.
Betty Reed Fiber & jewelry, Kirtland
Sue Johnson Fiber, jewelry, clay, Farmington
Michael Bulloch Watercolor, Farmington
Sharon Bulloch Watercolor, Farmington
S. Brian Berkun Photography traditional/digital, Centennial, Colo.
Elizabeth Stannard Contemporary painting, Farmington
Lou Mancel Jewelry/metalsmithing, Aztec
Tim Gordon Acrylic painting, Aztec
Kennith Gordon Photography, Farmington
Anne Hartman Portraits and wildlife, Blanco
D.A. Evans Jr. Woodcraft, Bluewater
Richard J. Mordecki Watercolor/acrylic painting, Aztec
John E. Harris Metal yard art, Mesilla
Tim Essary Graphite drawings, Farmington
Doug Miller Mixed media/acrylic paintings, Farmington
Don Powell Wood art, Tularosa
Catherine Thomas-Kemp Studio jewelry, Farmington
A couple dozen artists from around the Four Corners will display and sell their art at the Red Lion Inn, 700 Scott Ave., during Riverfest. A reception for the fair will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Friday.
The artists for the show were selected by the show's juror, Ann Smith, an abstract painter from Durango, Colo.
In the same spirit as this spring's "People's Choice" art contest, the public will be able to vote on which artist's work they like best. This artist will then receive a "People's Choice" award.
The fair also has a commemorative poster, which will be for sale. The poster was designed by Blanco artist Ann Hartman, who will be at the fair and will autograph the posters.
Tim Gordon, a member of the art fair committee, said the committee wants to bring attention to local artists and their work. A lot of people travel to Santa Fe or Taos when they want to purchase art. However, Gordon said, the art there is often more expensive.
"You can get quality art in the area," Gordon said.
Gordon, who is an acrylic painter, will be one of the artists participating in the fair. He said he paints realistic-style art of landscapes, animals and "whatever I'm kind of interested in at a particular time."