RiverPalooza 2019: RioPalooza!

RioPalooza - Rafting

[En español]


July 21, 2019​ | 12:00 PM – 06:00 PM
(Rain or Shine)

RioPalooza - Kids Playing

Join your Shenandoah Riverkeeper and its partners—the U.S. Forest Service, NorthBay Adventure, Hispanic Access Foundation, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and a diverse community of friends and family on Sunday, July 21 for a celebration of the Shenandoah River and Latino Conservation Week!  As a special bonus, Latin Grammy Award-winning artist, Mister G, author, activist, and educator, will perform at RioPalooza, showcasing their bi-lingual music that aims to protect our water and land, dissolve borders, and foster cross-cultural connections.

This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come together and demonstrate their enjoyment of nature and passion for conservation, with a special focus on the unique perspectives of Latinos and other diverse communities and cultures of our region. Educational booths and displays will help festival-goers engage in our human connection to the environment and will shine a spotlight on the commitment of Latino communities in conservation. Dual-language materials and staff will be available on site to help participants with a Spanish-language preference.

For many, caring for the environment grows out of joyful, shared experiences in nature. RioPalooza is giving everyone the chance to get out on, in, and even under the water of the Shenandoah River, together!

RioPalooza will take place at Stonewall Riverside Park, Merck Pavilion, Ore Wash Rd, Elkton, VA 22827.  This an easy 30-minute drive from Harrisonburg, and a more leisurely two-hours and change drive from the D.C. Beltway.

RioPalooza - Hootie the OwlThe suggested donation for RioPalooza is just $20 per family of four. Every attendee will need to preregister for the event at the link below. You may pay the suggested donation via credit card while registering online, or by cash on the day of the event. Prepayment in full using online registration will secure your spot (and up to three additional family members) on the shuttle bus taking you from Harrisonburg to the Stonewall Riverside Park and back. In addition, all prepaid registrants will be entered to win a preowned canoe (those aren’t scratches, those are battle scars, baby!!) generously donated by Downriver Canoe Company.

RioPalooza is being sponsored and underwritten by the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, the U.S. Forest Service, NorthBay Adventure, Mister G, Hispanic Access Foundation and Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries.

NOTE: Due to insurance and safety restrictions, no one under the age of 5 will be allowed on the tubing trip. Sorry, no exceptions – we care about you and your children!

Event Activities Will Include

Mister G Concert: Pull up a chair or just stand and dance as Mister G and Missus G perform their musical magic celebrating the environment and Latino culture! https://mistergsongs.com We are extremely fortunate to have Mister G squeeze in a performance given that this Latin Grammy award winner has performed at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and literally around the world!  The Washington Post wrote, Kid-friendly, bilingual rockstar… Mister G and his guitar will surely make you feel like bailando!” Details still being worked, but expect Mr. G to take the stage around 2:30 PM.

Fishing: We will have a selection of spinning rods and lures available for youngsters and families to borrow during the day. Volunteers will also be on hand to assist you in catching that fish! Please note that anyone fishing over 16 years of age will need a Virginia fishing license. You can purchase a license online here.

Tubing: Join representatives from PRKN for a short but fun tube trip down the beautiful Shenandoah River The tubing will take place and run the length of Stonewall Riverside Park. As a reminder, participants must be at least five years old due to insurance and safety restrictions. First come – first served.  Just bring the tubes back up to the top so others can join in the fun or plop down in the tube and do it all again!

Snorkeling: Ever wonder what is going on below the water with those aquatic organisms and fish that keep our streams clean? Join us for an amazing underwater experience with mask and a snorkel, and get up close and personal with biodiversity underneath the water’s surface. U.S. Forest Service and NorthBay Adventure personnel will be on hand to ensure we have a safe, fun, and educational experience, and Spanish translators will help you identify those critters in two languages!

Fun Educational Kids’ Games: Learn about the importance of clean water while engaging in fun games and activities for kids of all ages!!

Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries: Come check out and look at some of the different kinds of fish that call the Shenandoah River system home!!  Our good friends at VDGIF will have an aquarium and a biologist on hand to answer all of your questions!

Forest Bathing: Engage in a sensory experience by soaking up the sights, smells and sounds of nature to promote mental, physical and emotional health. Rejuvenate, reconnect and restore.  U.S. Forest Service personnel will be leading a walk through the George Washington National Forest. No bathing suit required!

Buffalo Soldiers (tentative) will provide an interpretive session on “Buffalo Soldiers’” legacy and achievements, with emphasis on their contributions to park and forest preservation. They will also provide a basic horsemanship lesson. According to the National Park Service, in the 19th century, Buffalo Soldiers billeted at the Presidio army post in San Francisco during the winter and served as park rangers in the Sierra Nevada in the summer.  They also fought wildfires and poachers in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks and supported the parks’ infrastructure.

Food: Don’t forget the food! Traditional Latino dishes will be offered throughout the day.  Feel free to bring a favorite dish to share and lots of fluids (no alcohol permitted).

RioPalooza - Kids and Fish

Conservation booths Other environmental and conservation groups are being encouraged to staff a booth and share their mission with the Latino community.

Obviously, we have a full day planned! Come back to check out the complete schedule of events as we get closer to the date. The event will be held rain or shine, as long as river conditions permit safe recreational activity in the water and on shore.  Please come be a part of Shenandoah Riverkeeper’s second annual RioPalooza as we celebrate the beauty and diversity of the Shenandoah River, learn why your Riverkeeper works so hard to protect its clean waters, and show how Latinos respect and love the Rio.

Lead Riverkeeper: Mark Frondorf – (571) 969-0746 or mark@shenandoahriverkeeper.org
Para detalles y asistencia en español, llame: Dr. Kimberly Winter, USFS, (703) 341-7292, kawinter@fs.fed.us

Event Location:

Stonewall Riverside Park, Merck Pavilion
Ore Wash Rd and M St
Elkton, VA 22827
Phone: (540) 298-8730

Event hours: 12 PM–6 PM

RioPalooza Registration/Suggested donation:

RioPalooza registration deadline is Wednesday, July 17. Suggested donation is $20 per family of four.

What to Bring:

    • If you are going tubing, you must wear proper footwear and you will be in the water and get wet. NO FLIP-FLOPS. Old gym shoes, sandals with a strap, and water shoes work great.
    • If you bring a phone or a non-waterproof camera on the river, you need a way to protect it with a dry bag or secure ziplock bag.
    • Sunscreen, hat and rain gear
    • Healthful snacks and drinking water. No glass bottles. No alcohol.
    • Change of clothes
    • Trip waiver (bring signed copy with you) – Adult waiver | Minor waiver
    • Read Paddle Rules
    • Download Water Reporter app to record your paddle experience. #RiverPalooza2019
    • If you plan to fish and are over the age of 16, bring valid Virginia fishing license or buy one online from VDGIF. Proof of VA residency required to obtain resident fishing license. Fishing permits are available for both residents and visitors to the state, with residents receiving a discount on their license to fish. To be considered a resident, you must have lived in Virginia for six consecutive months. Active-duty military members stationed in Virginia and students attending educational institutions in the state are also considered residents when buying fishing licenses. State residents who are younger than 16 years of age are exempt from fishing license requirements.

RioPalooza 2019

NOTE: Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for securing camping reservations or for the safety and enjoyment of participants who wish to attend. Scheduled activities are subject to change or cancellation due to inclement weather, high river levels, wind, and other factors that could jeopardize the safety and enjoyment of participants. Unfortunately, there can be no refunds. Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for any personal property that may be lost, damaged, or stolen during the trip. Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for outfitter service, lengthy paddle distances, late start times, and uncontrollable weather that could potentially prohibit/limit our ability to provide an enjoyable and safe paddling experience.