Photos and story by Rick Hiduk
(also published in Living Susquehanna/Wyoming County Magazine)
River Day at Tunkhannock has been providing hands-on experiences, nature-based education and quality entertainment for family members of all ages for more than a decade. Entering its 13th year, River Day organizers are looking forward to the Saturday, July 22 event, which will be held in Riverside Park.
The beautiful waterfront of the Susquehanna River will be the setting for arriving kayaks, nature explorations, environmental displays, wild animals from the Endless Mountains Nature Center, food and farm vendors, and live music through 7 pm.
“We are thrilled that River Day has grown every year and is enjoyed by so many,” says Erica Rogler, Executive Director of the Dietrich Theater, which coordinates the annual event.
The majority of activities begin at 1 pm, when visitors can start to explore the displays and produce of many farmers and environmental agencies. Participants will include the Bureau of Forestry, Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, Endless Mountains Heritage Region, Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, and Kitson Arts Alliance.
The Frances Dorrance Chapter of the Pennsylvania Archaeological Society will demonstrate the proper techniques for digging and screening artifacts. There will be singers, dancers and craftsmen from the Oneida and Seneca nations, and Gere Reisinger will kick-off the speaker series under the small tent with “Susquehanna River, Mother of Waters” – a Native American perspective of the beloved, historic waterway.
Other presenters will include Bob Daniels with a “River Critters Exploration,” Sharon Templin with “Birds of the Susquehanna,” and David Buck with “Susquehanna River – Past, Present, and Future.”
Entertainment on the Main Stage will include a demonstration by High Energy Fitness & Karate, the roots and Americana stylings of Retro Rocket (above), rousing folk tunes and traditional songs performed by Tim and Abi Zieger, country and rock covers by Chris Shrive of Flatland Ruckus, and bluegrass and Celtic swing by Hickory Project.
Mural and face painting are among the children’s activities that will take place throughout the afternoon, while Yoga in the Park with Barbara Tierney is offered specifically from 10 to 11 am. Participants should bring their own map and wear comfortable clothing.
Kayak enthusiasts may want to join one of two River Floats organized by David Buck of Endless Mountains Outfitters (www.emo444.com) and Susquehanna Kayak and Canoe Rentals (www.kayaktheriver.com). Participants can rent a kayak and float down the river from Meshoppen or the Howland Preserve, arriving at Riverside Park just as the music begins at the pavilion. Registration is required by July 19.
Local vendors Gingher Apiary and Conifer Corners will offer products like honey, jams, candles,, sauces, and beeswax skin cream for purchase. For eating on the spot, River Day patrons can choose from Jamaican Me Hungry, Kool Cow Cabin Creamery, and Simply Savory Catering and Barbecue.
For updates and a complete schedule of River Day activities, follow the Dietrich Theater on Facebook and at www.dietrichtheater.com.