Niles Riverfest celebrates river

Published 8:19 am Friday, July 26, 2013

Niles’ annual celebration of the St. Joseph River — Niles Riverfest — promises four days filled with family fun Aug. 1-4 at Riverfront Park in downtown Niles.
The Mr. and Mrs. Riverfest contest is returning to this year’s Niles Riverfest.
The competition is scheduled to run from 8 to 9 p.m. Aug. 1. It is open to anyone 18 years of age or older. Competitors must enter as a couple, although competitors don’t have to be in a romantic relationship.
The Niles-Buchanan YMCA is offering a free three-month membership to the winning couple.
Applications can be picked up and turned in at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA.
For more information, contact Lacey Peters at the YMCA at (269) 683-1552 or
The annual Niles Riverfest will be held Thursday, Aug, 1, through Sunday, Aug. 4, at Riverfront Park in downtown Niles. People are encouraged to sign up now for Riverfest events, including the Dragon Boat Race and Anything That Floats Raft Race.
The Dragon Boat Races features two teams of 10 people racing on the St. Joseph River in Niles. The deadline to register for the race is Friday, Aug. 2. Cost is $300 per team. The race is the morning of Aug. 3. Register for the Dragon Boat Race online at or by calling Lisa Croteau at (269) 687-4332.
The Anything That Floats Raft Race features teams trying to float their self-made rafts down the St. Joseph River. Some make it, while others do not.  Safety officials will be on hand to assist rafters. The competition is scheduled for the early afternoon of Aug. 3. People are encouraged to create their rafts with a cartoon theme. However, Boy Scout Troop 579 will create rafts for people. The deadline to order a Boy Scout raft is Aug. 2. People bringing rafts can sign up no later than 1 p.m. Aug. 3.
To register for the Anything That Floats Raft Race, visit or call Deb Wozniak at (269) 414-9958.
New this year is the Riverfest Bike Show, which will be held from noon to 8 p.m. in Riverfront Park. Registration is from noon to 3 p.m. and judging from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Several awards will be handed out, including best antique, domestic, foreign, cruiser, sport and more. Paparazzi Tattoos will be on-site all day and local rock band Sucker Punch will begin performing after the awards ceremony. Sage Road Monster Truck Rides will also be present offering rides throughout the day.
The 19th annual Niles Riverfest Car Show will be held Aug. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is from 9 to noon and judging is from noon to 2 p.m. Several awards will be handed out and Riverfest dash plaques will be offered to the first 125 vehicles to register.
In addition to all this, two antique fishing lure collectors from Niles will display old fishing tackle. The exhibitors are Ric Ladonski and Doug Bucha. Both are members of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club and Old Reel Collectors Association.
For more information, visit

Niles Riverfest 2013
Aug. 1-4
Riverfront Park, Niles

Aug. 1
7 p.m. — High Life Rock Band
8 p.m. — YMCA Mr. and Mrs. Riverfest Contest and Opening Ceremony
9 p.m. — High Life Rock Band

Aug. 2
3 p.m. — Open mic
5 p.m. — Lake Effect Jazz Band
6 p.m. — Harpeth Rising-Americana Band
8 p.m. — Awakening of Dragon Boats Ceremony
8 p.m. — Van Dyke Revue Rock and Dance Band
10 p.m. — Hey Annie

Aug. 3
9 a.m. — Dragon Boat Race
10 a.m. — Al Mott
Noon — Foggy Knights Rock ‘n Roll Reunion Show
Noon — Riverfest Bike Show
2 p.m. — Anything That Floats Raft Race
3 p.m. — Harpeth Rising
4:30 p.m. — Balos Family Bluegrass Band
6 p.m. — Harpeth Rising-Americana Band
6 p.m. — Sucker Punch at Bike Show
7 p.m. — Dragon Boat and Raft Race Awards
7:30 p.m. — Cajun Party with Creole Stomp

Aug. 4
9 a.m. — Riverfest Car Show
10 a.m. — Church of Niles
Noon — Keith Scott Blues Trio
2 p.m. — Harpeth Rising-Americana Band
3 p.m. — Lukas Simpson of Goldmine Pickers
4 p.m. — Harpeth Rising-Americana Band
5 p.m. — Lukas Simpson of Goldmine Pickers
6 p.m. — Brian Eddington, folk rock
7 p.m. — The Whistle Pigs