By BRAD JENNINGS
OREGON – The debut of Rockin’ River Fest in 2017 could be remembered for many things.
It was a new festival in the heart of Oregon. It featured food and music and a focus on the local area. It even brought back the Tug Across the Rock.
But it could also be remembered for the weather, which shut down the festival by 6:30 p.m.
“We had a lot of weather issues,” said Donna Mann, chair of the festival. “We got shut down early because of the terrible storms that were coming in.”
But that doesn’t mean the festival wasn’t successful – it was quite successful. And this year it promises to build on that success with some new events and plenty of fun on tap.
Rockin’ River Fest takes place on June 16 behind the fire station in Oregon. The festival opens at noon, and goes until 11 p.m. The triathlon starts at 8:30 a.m. at Oregon Park East. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for kids ages 4-12 and free for ages 3 and under.
As last year was a success, Mann said no big changes have been made for this year.
“We’re just doing some fine tuning for the festival this year,” she said.
Those changes include opening the event grounds a bit later and adding a play area for small children, under the age of 5.
The Tug Across the Rock, which sees teams on opposite sides of the Rock River pulling on an 1,800-foot rope, is back and proving to be a popular event. It was started years ago for Autumn on Parade and brought back at River Fest last year.
So far, eight teams have signed up for the event this year.
Like last year, the festival will feature live music from 3-11 p.m. on the Chill Zone Stage.
“A mixture of music,” Mann said. “Everything from country to pop.”
There will be a bags tournament starting at 4 p.m., a beer garden, a community showcase and plenty of good food, she said.
“It’s just a unique, family-oriented event,” she said. “When we created this festival last year, it was just really to showcase the unique amenities of the Oregon community. The river front, the business community, the recreational resources, the natural, scenic historical beauty of the area. We didn’t want this festival to be like any other.”