VOLUME 1 | ISSUE 21 | Cambridge Riverfest
by: Katherine George
The season of summer is rapidly approaching. In addition to its heat waves and warming rays of sunshine, it also provides an opportunity for families to enjoy that quality time together that is sometimes out of reach during those hectic winter months. To kick off the beginning of this year’s summer season is the family-friendly Cambridge Riverfest.
Beginning in 1983 as the Cambridge Grand Riverfest featuring boat races on the river, as well as a few activities for kids, it has now grown into an annual community event and is approaching its 29th year. As the Cambridge Riverfest’s popularity peaked, Dragon Boat races became a part of the activities available at the event. Within the year 2000, seven Dragon Boats were introduced to the races, growing to a total of over 20 teams in 2008. However, with the races becoming so exclusive and competitive, the attendance began to dwindle and eventually the races were banned from the event. Today, the Cambridge Riverfest is a free, family event and has continually grown in size as well as status ever since. The ultimate goal of the Cambridge Riverfest is to draw the community together and connect individuals to the Grand River.
This year’s event is to take place on June 2 at Riverbluffs Park.
Cambridge Riverfest is a non-profit organization, therefore volunteers and sponsorship is a large part of creating and maintaining the event. Rogers TV, P&H Milling Group, Cambridge Volkswagen, and Book Express are just a few of the featured supporting sponsors. In addition, the City of Cambridge is a major sponsor to the event and participants of the Cambridge Riverfest are continuously thankful for their annual supportive role in helping keep the Riverfest a reoccurring and vibrant event.
In order to keep energy high among the participants and happy spirits within the crowd, the event is providing entertainment for children, adults, and for families in general. We will see returning performers from years past, including Erick Traplin, a local children’s entertainer who performs a unique blend of music for kids of all ages throughout Ontario and Eastern Canada. In addition, we’ll see magician Ray Xu will present a magic show, Face the Art put on a bubble show, and Lisa Meyerhofer provide a hip hop demo and group lessons open to all participants. New activities will also be on the roster this year, including Bird House Building, which provides children with pre-cut pieces of pine that craft together forming a bird house. (All activities are free of charge.)
On top of performance entertainment there will also be the beloved raft rides on the river. Raft rides entail a relaxing float down the river, also gives participants a chance to observe Cambridge from a completely different perspective than available from bridges or roads. Not to mention the chance to convert the paleness of those past winter months into a glowing summer tan!
The Cambridge Riverfest is an important event for the community, but it also derives its significance from the opportunities it provides for families. It is a great chance to extend some bonding time between parents and children while spending quality time with friends and neighbours within the community. This year’s list of performers and activities will not disappoint!