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Photo: Delaware River Festival
Photo: Delaware River Festival

Delaware River Festival Set to Make a Splash

A celebration of the river, the festival runs from September 26 to October 4, bringing fun to families with on-the-water and virtual activities.

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For the last three years, the Delaware River Festival has brought “family-friendly fun, educational activities, and water-centered learning” to the Camden and Philadelphia Waterfronts. 

This year, the theme for the festival is “Healthy River. Healthy Life,” a message they’re extending to the residents surrounding the river, many of whom are Spanish-speaking. 

Amy Durkin, the Delaware River Fest Coordinator, explained that their goal is:

“To get people out on the waterfront and out on the water in ways that they might not have been aware of. The event is bringing people who maybe live really close to the river but never really used it in any way,” Durkin added, “giving them opportunities to see what is out in nature close to home".

"A lot of folks, especially in the city, don’t realize how close nature is to them, and the idea of getting that access to those communities is very important to us.”  

For the first time, the festival will be held both in-person and virtually. Festival-goers can participate in on-the-water activities such as kayak paddles. There will also be trail hikes within the Delaware Watershed. On Saturday, October 3, participants on the Camden Waterfront can attend a drive-in movie showing of the Lorax. 

As for virtual events, these include presenters online and live-streamed exercises such as trail hikes and yoga in the park. Librarians from the Camden City Library and the Free Library of Philadelphia will be doing storybook readings about the river. There will also be a scavenger hunt where participants can point out different types of nature within the city. There will even be online concerts featuring performers such as Ants on a Log, a children’s band. 

All events are to celebrate the river, its ecosystem and show that it is safe and fun! The Delaware River has had a perception of being dirty because it was polluted for many decades, but not anymore. In the last few years, the river has gone through a significant cleanup.  

American Rivers, an environmental advocacy group, deemed the Delaware River as the river of the year, calling it a “national success story.” 

To join the festival, follow their social media platforms to see content in real-time. All of the events will be live-streamed on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Anything virtual is free, and most of the in-person events are too. However, given social distance guidelines, all in-person events will be capped off. 

The pre-registration and event information can be found on their website, and most event sign-ups can be done through Eventbrite. The website will also have a list of all the events and a schedule of when they take place. Most events will happen during the day, between 10 am and 8 pm. 

For more information, go to delawareriverfest.org or follow them @delrivfest on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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