Vermont Business Magazine Connecticut River Conservancy’s first-ever Riverfest weekend kicks off August 6-7 in Brattleboro and Hinsdale, highlighted by the 44e Annual New England Paddle Sports Championship Sunday. Riverfest promises family-friendly activities by the river and on the river connecting southwestern New Hampshire to southeastern Vermont.

On Sunday, the New England Paddlesports Championship (NEPC) will host riders from across the North East. Canoes, kayaks, surf skis, and stand-up paddleboards will have separate racing classes. While this marks the NEPC’s 44th year on the Connecticut River between southern Vermont and New Hampshire, it’s only the second time competitors have paddled the waters of this stretch of river between Hinsdale, NH and Brattleboro- to-Vernon, Vt. The race, started from Norm Marinais part of the New England Canoe and Kayak Racing Association (NECKRA) Flatwater Point Series. www.neckra.org.

Saturday’s highlights include the Riff Raft Regatta, originally a summer crowd favorite at the marina a few years ago, which will be co-presented by Great Eastern Radio and the Connecticut River Conservancy. Participants are asked to build a “hope it will float” raft to compete in a 50-yard sprint. Entries will enter the river from Brattleboro Island in Hinsdale to a start line upstream from Whetstone Brook and Whetstone Station Restaurant and race to the Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge – or sink! Several prizes will be offered in various categories. Life jackets will be required for all. The first 10 teams to register for the Riff Raft Regatta will be entered on race day to qualify for a $100 gift certificate drawn by Sam’s. Vessels must make it to the start line to be entered into the Sam’s drawing. The first craft to pass under the Anna Hunt Marsh Bridge will be awarded the title of Riff Raft Regatta Champion. Consult the instructions and register on riff-raft-regatta-22.eventbrite.com.

People are also encouraged to sign up for guided and independent opportunities to try out canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs); fly fishing; a four-mile round-trip hike to Wantasticket; a bike ride on the Fort Hill Rail Trail. And that’s not all: the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center and the River Gallery School, the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum, the Brattleboro Historical Society, Insight Photography and local and regional artists, among others, will offer activity stations at the Riverfest Village, located across from the train. Brattleboro station. Who doesn’t want to write a message to the river or make a river charm necklace or decorate a lamprey!

That’s not all: the Latchis Theater will host talks on the river with painter Benny Merns, poet-publisher Mike Fleming, journalist Maddy Bodin and naturalist writer and fly fisherman Reid Bryant, as well as a panel on the history of greater Brattleboro and its relationship to the river. . Panelists include historian Joe Rivers, along with former Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee. For the full schedule of Saturday and all-weekend activities, visit ctriver.org/news-events/nepc-riverfest.

On Sunday, alongside the NEPC race, The Lampey Challenge, co-presented by the Brattleboro Reformer and CRC, offers the opportunity to participate in a one-mile, one-lap, two-person canoe race. Although traditional canoe teams can also participate in the recreational duration of the NEPC race, the Lampey is for traditional two-person canoes only. Teams will set up at Norm’s Marina for an 11 a.m. start in front of Whetstone Beer Co. on the Brattleboro side. There is a $50 registration fee per boat, with the deadline to register before August 1st. To register, visit lampy-challenge-22.eventbrite.com.

According to organizers, “Riverfest was designed to showcase the rich range of outdoor recreation options, the many benefits of healthy rivers and the beauty of the region.”

All river activities will require life jackets. The organizers politely ask festival-goers to leave their pets at home.

Sponsors include: Allagash Brewing Company, Whetstone Beer Co., NorthStar Vermont Yankee Decommissioning, Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors, Savings Bank of Walpole, REED & REED, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Park Place Financial Advisors, The Richards Group, Latchis Hotel , and integrated solar.

BRATTLEBORO, VT—July 14, 2022—The Connecticut River Conservancy