Let’s go ride a bike: Inaugural Riverfest features food, fun and bicycling

click to enlarge Framed by the turning leaves a bicyclist enjoys the views along the Snake River. Riverfest, will celebrate both rivers and cycling in the valley. - TRIBUNE/KYLE MILLS
Tribune/Kyle Mills
Framed by the turning leaves a bicyclist enjoys the views along the Snake River. Riverfest, will celebrate both rivers and cycling in the valley.

By JENNIFER K. BAUER

CLARKSTON — In the region’s newest festival, the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley’s rivers and a healthy lifestyle play a starring role.

The Saturday, Sept. 27 inaugural Riverfest at Granite Lake Park in Clarkston will feature food, drink and family activities on the water and off. The free festival will be the grand finale for the Rotary Rivers & Ridges Ride, a cycling event for all ages starting Saturday morning at the park.

Riverfest is a collaboration between the Port of Clarkston and regional partners. This is the port’s first public event at the park, which has seen close to $1 million worth of improvements in lighting, pathways, docks and structures since 2008, says Wanda Keefer, port manager. The port made improving the Snake River park a priority to expand the potential of its waterfront.

“Because of the levee system we don’t get to interact with the river as much as we used to,” Keefer says.

The event celebrates the river and all the possibilities it holds for enjoyment, while the cycling component showcases scenic views and gives families an activity to do together, she says.

“We’re hoping the event will create better awareness about the need to share the road with cyclists. By raising awareness not only will cyclists be safer, but children riding their bikes to school will be safer.”

Along with area residents, organizers hope to attract the passengers of two cruise boats that will be docked Saturday in Clarkston.

The three sides of Riverfest

EAT A spaghetti feed kicks off the festival from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26 at the park. Sponsored by Asotin Tomorrow, money raised will help restore Asotin’s marina and other historic buildings in town. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger.

RIDE Saturday’s Rotary Rivers & Ridges Ride features three routes, all starting at the park. The 100-mile “Century” route and the 50-mile ride start at 8 a.m. Cyclists will follow the river, then head to Tammany, Lapwai and Arrow Bridge. The 100-milers will continue on through Kendrick and Troy, returning to the park via the Palouse. The 15-mile ride is geared toward families and starts at 10:30 a.m., traveling the bike path to Asotin. Area service clubs will provide comfort stations. On-site registration is 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the white tent at the park and 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Cost is $60 for the 100- and 50-mile rides. Cost is $30 for the 15-mile ride, or $55 for a family of four. More information is available by calling (208) 305-7646.

RELAX Riverfest is noon to 7 p.m. Saturday at the park. Admission is free. There will be vendor and food booths, a local beer and wine garden and live entertainment on two stages featuring the Hit Men and Stoning Steven. A Kid Zone will include sumo suit wrestling and Lewiston Parks and Recreation’s Rec Mobile. PBS’ Cee Dub Welch will give Dutch oven cooking demonstrations at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. Jet ski demos are at 1 and 2 p.m. Stand up paddleboarding demos are 3 to 7 p.m. There will also be a Boat Show-n-Shine and helicopter rides.

IF YOU GO What: Riverfest When: Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26-27, 2014 Where: Granite Lake Park, Clarkston

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