Riverfest website launched in anticipation of festival's return on Memorial Day weekend

Organizers hope to attract significant number of out-of-town visitors

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
Riverfest will return to Animas and Berg parks in Farmington on Memorial Day weekend this year after being cancelled the last two years because of the pandemic.

FARMINGTON — Memorial Day weekend is three and a half months away, but organizers of Farmington's Riverfest celebration are working hard to make sure the event makes a big splash after being cancelled the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nonprofit River Reach Foundation, the organization that stages the three-day festival, recently launched new websites for the foundation and for Riverfest, riverfestnewmexico.com, marking the first time the event has had its own standalone website.

River Reach Foundation President D'Ann Waters said the new websites were launched at the suggestion of representatives of LEO Events, a large events planning firm with offices across the South. She said the foundation has been working with LEO Events to ensure the return of Riverfest is a success after a two-year absence.

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Riverfest will return to Animas and Berg parks in Farmington on Memorial Day weekend this year after being cancelled the last two years because of the pandemic.

The festival is scheduled to take place Friday, May 27 through Sunday, May 29 this year at Berg and Animas parks in Farmington.

The event will look and feel much the same as it has in the past, Waters said, although organizers hope to bring in some well-known musical headliners to perform and serve as a draw for an outside market. Waters said the foundation is in negotiations with a potential headlining act for Sunday night, and she said she hopes to be able to announce that show within the next few days.

Having a major musical act perform as the finale for the three-day festival is just one of the changes planned this year, she said.

"Hopefully, we'll get a lot of people that will stay and play in Farmington on Sunday night," she said.

The River Reach Foundation is casting a wider net for attendance this year, she said, explaining that LEO Events is helping the organization market the festival to such markets as Las Cruces and Alamogordo in New Mexico, as well as such out-of-state, regional cities as El Paso, Texas; and Flagstaff and Holbrook, Arizona.

Organizers of Farmington's Riverfest celebration are hoping to attract a significant number of out-of-town visitors to this year's event, which includes rafting, live music, hundreds of vendors and other activities.

"They've given us a lot of help," Waters said.

LEO officials also plan on attending the event this year to get a first-hand look at it for future planning purposes, she said.

Other changes on tap this year include the addition of new entertainment acts that will be featured in between the performances by local music acts. Waters said those acts could include magic shows and other nonmusical performers.

The festival's various offerings also will be spread out a little more this year, she said, to make the event safer for those in attendance.

Waters and other Riverfest officials are hoping there is a lot of pent-up demand for the festival after it had to be cancelled for the last two years. They are intent on increasing attendance both locally and regionally.

"We want to get out-of-town attendance and get people to come and stay and make use of all the recreation things we have in Farmington," she said.

The event typically attracts between 20,000 and 30,000 people each year.

Vendors already are being lined up for the event, Waters said. For more information, call the foundation at 505-716-4405.

 Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.