12th Annual River Day in Tunkhannock planned for July 23

For Abington Journal | July 11th, 2016 11:42 am

TUNKHANNOCK — This year’s Tunkhannock’s River Day will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 23 at Riverside Park. The free event is held rain or shine, and for the 12th year in a row, the Susquehanna waterfront will be the setting for arriving kayaks, nature explorations, environmental organization displays, live animals from the Endless Mountains Nature Center, food and farm vendors, and four live musical performances.

A special celebration of the North Branch of the Susquehanna River’s new 2016 River of the Year status will be held from 2:15 to 3 p.m. Nominated by the Endless Mountains Heritage Region along with the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership and winner of a five-week online vote by the public, this designation funds yearlong activities related to the Susquehanna River.

To jumpstart the day, there will be a free session of Kundalini Yoga at the River at 10 a.m. All are welcome to bring a blanket or yoga mat and experience what Yoga can do for the mind and body, while being outdoors under the trees at the river’s edge.

Kayak enthusiasts may want to join one of two River Floats organized by David Buck of Endless Mountains Outfitters and Art Coolbaugh of Susquehanna Kayak and Canoe Rentals. Attendees can rent a kayak and float down the river from Meshoppen at 9:30 a.m. or the Howland Preserve at noon, arriving at Riverside Park just as the music begins at the pavilion. To register, call Endless Mountains Outfitters at 570-746-9140 or Susquehanna Kayak and Canoe Rentals at 570-388-6107.

Rick Koval, of WNEP Pennsylvania Outdoor Life fame, will let people get up close and personal with snakes of Pennsylvania and tell all kinds of interesting facts about them at 1 p.m.. Local bird expert Joe Demarco will enlighten all bird enthusiasts about birds that can be sighted along the Susquehanna River at 2:15 p.m. Naturalist Bob Daniels will allow hands-on exploration of river critters from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Learn about the Susquehanna River, Past, Present, and Future with masters of the river, David Buck and Art Coolbaugh from 5 to 6 p.m.

Many children’s activities are planned for the day at Riverside Park. Families can check out the the Endless Mountains Nature Center display. Right at the river from 3 to 6 p.m. young artists will be able to add their designs to a painted mural inspired by the natural surroundings, guided by Amy and Steve Colley, Dietrich Theater art teachers. And from 3 to 6 p.m., Valerie Johnson, face painter extraordinaire, will transform little faces into all kinds of insects and animals. The Endless Mountain Nature Center will feature live animals up close and invite families to take a story walk with their children, a new experience showing up all around Tunkhannock this year.

Always featured at River Day is continuous music at the new pavilion from 1 to 7 p.m. Pennsylvania native Jessica Illuzi will open the music at the pavilion with her fusion of earthy rock and roll and traditional Americana vocals and acoustic guitar at 1:45 p.m. Back by popular demand will be Sadie Green Sales Jug Band with David Driskell and Timothy Walker, joined by some of their students from the previous week’s classes at the Dietrich Theater. They will perform from 3 to 4 p.m.

New this year will be a jamming session by the Tunkhannock’s own Airport Pickers, the local group of folks who get together every Sunday at Skyhaven Airport to play old country, bluegrass, and gospel music. The always-popular Coal Town Rounders will return with their rousing alternative bluegrass music from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The day will end with the return amRadio, northeastern Pennsylvania’s vocal heavy party band with a three-part horn section, trumpet, sax, and trombone.

While watching kayaks, listening to music, visiting displays and farm stands, and seeing wild animals up close, visitors can take a break and enjoy some food from vendors such as Simply Savory’s BBQ and delectable sides, Kool Cow Cabin Creamery ice cream, fresh squeezed lemonade and vegetarian empanadas and jambalaya by Sam James, iced coffee from Keystone Konfections. New this year will be Engine 3:16, featuring wood-fired brick oven pizza and other favorites. Don’t miss raspberries and jam from Conifer Corner, and honey and other products from Gingher Apiary.

Environmental organizations and their displays will help attendees understand what they are doing and what can be done for the environment. Organizations with displays at River Day include Endless Mountains Nature Center, Endless Mountains Heritage Region, Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, and Friends of the Howland Preserve. The Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau will be on hand to share all of the recreational and business resources in the area. Displays of Endless Mountain Outfitters and Susquehanna Kayak and Canoe Rental will make you want to explore the Susquehanna River by boat. Plus, Kitson Arts Alliance will exhibit artwork related to the river and the outdoors and a couple of artists will be plein air painting along the bank of the Susquehanna.

River Day is planned by the Wyoming County Cultural Center at the Dietrich Theater and the River Day Committee and sponsored by the Overlook Estate Foundation.

For more information about River Day, call the Dietrich Theater at 570-996-1500.

A mural is painted during River Day 2015.
http://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_ABJ-River-Day-1.jpgA mural is painted during River Day 2015. Submitted photos
Members of Sadie Green Sales Jugband perform with some of their students from a previous Jammin in a Jugband camp held at the Dietrich Theater.
http://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_ABJ-River-Day-2.jpgMembers of Sadie Green Sales Jugband perform with some of their students from a previous Jammin in a Jugband camp held at the Dietrich Theater. Submitted photos

For Abington Journal

Information provided by the Dietrich Theater.