• The Deerfield River is tributary to the Connecticut River, depicted here in Thomas Cole's famous 1836 painting

  • The Deerfield River in its floodplain eroding through the red sandstone that makes up Mount Sugarloaf.

  • Swimming hole on the Deerfield (photo: Art Schwenger)

  • Rafters enjoying a summer day on the river (Photo: Art Schwenger)

  • Sunset during December over the Deerfield Valley (photo: A Schwenger)

  • Autumn along the Deerfield RIver

RiverFest 2015!

Riverfest_2015_parade pic

Saturday, June 6, RiverFest returns to Shelburne Falls, MA, an annual celebration of the Deerfield River that flows through the village in ‘It takes a healthy watershed to make a beautiful River’ – what Yankee Magazine has called one of the Top 20 Massachusetts Events. It’s an entertaining, educational day-long festival in a beautiful setting, enhanced by views of Salmon Falls and hydro-power at work, the unusual “glacial” potholes and the famous Bridge of Flowers.


Beginning at 10 a.m., the village streets will be filled with live music sponsored by Mocha Maya’s of local performers keeping things lively throughout the day. At 10:30 a.m. “Return of the Eagles,” a celebration of eagles and rivers with theater, songs and art displays will be at the Buckland Town Hall and will be presented by Deer Paths Nature School in Wendell. There will be children’s activities, face painting the opportunity to participate in the parade workshop and march in the one and only “Frog & Flower Parade,” along with drummers and other community folks.


Right after the parade, marchers and non-marchers alike are invited to join the fun of Piti Theatre’s musical-clown-show, “Innocenzo,” on stage at the Senior Center. Deerfield River Watershed Association’s (DRWA) ever-popular display tables—and by the chance to ride beautifully restored Trolley #10 and an authentic railroad pump car at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum.


Down by the river, visitors can experience the thrill of quiet-water rafting, or try their hand at fly-casting with Trout Unlimited, or experience paddling demonstrations from Zoar Oudoor. Those who enjoy browsing will find treasures galore at the Arms Library book sale, the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club Tag Sale, and other pop-up shopping opportunities from local residents.


On Saturday evening, Pothole Pictures will present “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” in Memorial Hall Theatre, and on Sunday, June 7, DRWA volunteers will lead hikes through the local landscape. (Interested individuals may sign up at the RiverFest HQ Information Table on Saturday).


Shelburne Falls’ many restaurants and outdoor food stands always offer a tempting range of meals and snacks, while the village’s friendly shops and galleries, and the special street vendors and informational booths set up for RiverFest, present a wide variety of interesting offerings.


Rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, RiverFest is the perfect way to spend a June day.