7 THINGS TO CHECK OUT AT RIVERFEST

LIVE MUSIC: an Afro Cuban rock band will play from 7 to 9 p.m Friday. More bands, including Willow Blue and The Delbert Anderson Trio, will perform all day Saturday at Rocky Reach landing.

RAFTING: Twenty-minute raft rides will depart from the Animas Parking lot throughout the day on Saturday. The rides cost $15 for adults and $10 for children. A shuttle will take people back.

WEINER DOG RACES: Enter your dachshund in the annual weiner dog race. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The race is at 11 a.m. at River Reach Terrace Entry fees are $5 per dog.

FACE PAINTING AND GAMES: Among the children's activities every year are face painting and games. These go on throughout the day Saturday. All children's events will be at the Red Barn at Animas Park.

5K/10K RUN, 2-MILE WALK: At 8 a.m. Saturday, runners and walkers can take part in the annual event. Entry fees are $20 for runs, $12 for walk. Register in advance at fmtn.org/prca or call 505-599-1184.

BOB BROWNING PETTING ZOO: Bring children to the petting zoo at the Red Barn at Animas Park all day on Saturday to meet animals from Bob Browning's ranch. Animals include horses, goats and more.

TRACTORS AND TRUCKS: The Four Corners Antique Power Association will bring some of its vehicles to the Red Barn at Animas Park on Saturday. The association will be there all day.

FARMINGTON — Each year, Riverfest draws thousands of attendees to raft down the Animas River, relax to live music and participate in family activities, like the weiner dog races. And this year's festival is shaping up to be no different.

The three-day festival, now in its 28th year, starts Friday at Animas and Berg parks. In addition to entertainment, the event raises money for the trail system along the Animas River.

Proceeds benefit the River Reach Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to protect and enhance Farmington's riverine corridors. The festival is the foundation's main fundraiser of the year.

The idea behind Riverfest was to attract people to the river, trails and parks the foundation is trying to preserve.

Bob Lehmer, one of the founding members of River Reach Foundation, says the original goal of the event was to show people "the value of the rivers to the community."

Money raised at Riverfest also funds the expansion of trails, like the Among the Waters Trail near San Juan Regional Medical Center that the foundation dedicated last month.

"Every penny goes back into the trails project," Lehmer said.

When Riverfest started, the city had just completed a wood chip trail from the east side of Berg Park to the River Reach Terrace, where the motels are located.

Around 500 people attended the first festival in 1986, Lehmer said. The event featured two stages, and performers alternated performing.

While it originally took place in September, Riverfest was moved to Memorial Day weekend three years later. That's when rafting was added. Now, attendees can take 20-minute raft ride down the Animas River on Saturday. Rides are $15 for adults and $10 for children.

"It just got bigger and bigger," Lehmer said.

Twelve years ago, the weiner dog races were added. The annual races of area dachshunds have become one of Riverfest's signature events.

"It's a big draw on Saturday morning," Lehmer said.

Artist Karen Ellsbury has participated in Riverfest events for several years. She plans to work with the children's festival this year.

"People still remember me from when I did Riverfest in 1999," she said.

Her favorite memory of the festival is playing with her grandchildren in the giant bubbles.

"It's the small things in life," she said with a laugh.

RIVERFEST 2014

Friday, May 23

6 to 9 p.m.: Riverfest Fine Art Show reception at the River Reach Terrace will feature the work of 21 local and regional artists.

7 to 9 p.m.: Rico concert at Rocky Reach, Afro-Cuban salsa and rock music.

Saturday, May 24

A man waters his horse during Riverfest at Berg Park on May 25, 2013. Horse and pony rides are one attraction for children at the festival.
A man waters his horse during Riverfest at Berg Park on May 25, 2013. Horse and pony rides are one attraction for children at the festival. (The Daily Times file photo)

Sunrise to 11 a.m.: Plein Air Painters of the Four Corners and other artists will be between Berg and Animas River parks. Works can be seen, voted on and purchased at the Riverfest Fine Art Show Tent at River Reach Terrace. Winner by popular vote will be announced at 6 p.m.

8 a.m.: Riverfest 10K, 5K Run and 2 mile walk. Both runs and walk will start and finish at the Animas Park parking lot area and run along the scenic river trails.

9 a.m.: Riverfest Disc Golf Tournament at Rocky Reach Landing. Late registration is from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Register at www.pdga.com. Email wwgage@earthlink.net with questions.

10 a.m.: Xeriscape Garden Tour on the trail between Animas Park and Rocky Reach Landing.

10 a.m. to noon: Recycling Fun RiverKids at Animas Park and the Big Red Barn. Make a rope or friendship bracelet with plastic bags. Bring your clean recyclable to build a sculpture. Hosted By Sustainable San Juan.

11 a.m.: Weiner dog races at the River Reach Terrace northwest fence

11 a.m.: Veterans Memorial ceremony at Veterans Memorial Plaza

1 to 3 p.m.: Bluegrass Jam Animas Park at Big Red Barn hosted by Choke Cherry Jam

2 p.m.: Riverside Xeriscape Garden Tours Trail between Animas Park and Rocky Reach Landing

3 to 5 p.m.: Bluegrass Jam, hosted by musical Guest Gypsy Fire

All day: 20-minute raft rides down the Animas River with Mild to Wild Rafting. After, a bus will take you back to Animas Park. An additional shuttle will be available from Animas Park’s parking lot to Berg Park

A popular event during Riverfest is the wiener dog races, which attracts between 80 and 100 dogs a year.
A popular event during Riverfest is the wiener dog races, which attracts between 80 and 100 dogs a year. (The Daily Times file photo)

All day: RiverKids Activities at Animas Park at the Big Red Barn. Bob Browning Petting Zoo, Four Corners Antique Power Association with antique tractors, trucks and engines, gold panning demonstrations and tractor rides. Aztec Ruins National Monument arts and crafts, and demonstrations

Music at Rocky Reach Landing

10 to 10:45 a.m.: Willow Blue, acoustic duo

11:15 a.m. to noon: This Time Around, contemporary rock

12:30 to 1:30 p.m.: The Cool Tones, 1950s and 1960s rock

2 to 3 p.m.: The Delbert Anderson Trio, Native American jazz

3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Native Knights, country

5 to 7:30 p.m.: Rico

Sunday, May 25

8 a.m.: RoverFest Animas Park. Walk or run with your dog during this 5k or 2k. Watering stations available along the designated trails. Don’t have a dog? Try one out through the adoption booth. Every dog gets a bandana. Register from 8 to 10 a.m. Sunday at the Big Red Barn at Animas Park $10 per dog.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Riverfest Fine Art Show at River Reach Terrace featuring 21 local and regional artists

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Recycling Fun RiverKids at Animas Park and the Big Red Barn. Make a rope or friendship bracelet with plastic bags. Bring your clean recyclable to build a sculpture. Hosted By Sustainable San Juan

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: One Nation Gourd Dance Veterans Memorial.

Noon to 1 p.m.: Sunday Gospel Sing Along at Animas Park at the Big Red Barn

1 to 3 p.m.: Acoustic Blues Jam at Animas Park’s Big Red Barn.

2 p.m.: Riverside Xeriscape Garden Tours

All Day: Car Show at Cottonwood Landing

All day: RiverKids Activities at Animas Park at the Big Red Barn. Bob Browning Petting Zoo, Four Corners Antique Power Association with antique tractors, trucks and engines, gold panning demonstrations and tractor rides. Aztec Ruins National Monument arts and crafts, and demonstrations

Music at Rocky Reach Landing

11 to 11:45 a.m.: Second Chance, Spanish

Noon to 1 p.m.: Recoil, country rock

1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Durango Orquesta de Salsa, blues/rock

3 to 5 p.m.: Studebaker John, Chicago blues

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.