A river of fun possibilities

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First Posted: 7/14/2014

You can paddle down the Susquehanna River in a kayak or do a sunset salutation pose by the river.

And if boating or yoga isn’t for you, don’t worry there are plenty of other activities like nature exploring, listening to music or painting a mural.

What began as a simple ceremony to honor the Susquehanna River 10 years ago has grown into a celebration filled with food, fun and family events at Riverside Park in Tunkhannock.

Tunkhannock River Day will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. July 19 at Riverside Park, rain or shine. It is planned by the Wyoming County Cultural Center at the Dietrich Theater.

The waterfront is the setting for an opportunity to enjoy nature and learn a little something about the environment.

“What’s more important than our environment?” asked Margie Young, program coordinator. “This is part of the mission of our cultural center to help make sure our area is conserved and stays as pristine as it can. We want to help people respect the river and the environment and continue to make it a beautiful area.”

But River Day aims to accomplish its goals in a fun way with lively demonstrations and activities, along with a variety of music and food.

And what’s more fun than a peek at a creepy crawly or flying critter?

Jerry Skinner, biology professor at Keystone College and resident naturalist at Woodburne Nature Preserve, will conduct a dragonfly exploration.

Biology teacher Bob Daniels will lead a River Critters exploration. “He scoops up water from the river and lets you see what is living in it,” Young said.

Fitness fun is a highlight of River Day with a variety of demonstrations and classes offered in many different types of exercise. A karate demonstration will be given by High Energy Fitness and Karate. Instructors from the center will offer free demonstrations and mini classes in cardio kickboxing, step aerobics, cycling, tone fit and yoga.

Children’s activities are planned for the festival. There will be a display and activities at the Endless Mountains Nature Center. Children are invited to be artists for a mural, guided by Amy and Steve Colley, Dietrich Theater art teachers.

Valerie Johnson is offering face painting. The Ross Park ZooMobile will let children see animals up close.

Relay races and other fitness activities for children are new at the park’s basketball court.

Continuous music will be performed at a new pavilion in the afternoon. The Sadie Green Sales Jug Band is returning with David Driskell and Timothy Walker, joined by some of their students from the previous week’s classes at the Dietrich Theater.

The Coal Town Rounders will provide alternative bluegrass music. Acoustic bluegrass is the specialty of the Hickory Project, who will close out the afternoon’s performances.

A huge tent in front of the pavilion will offer visitors refuge from the hot sun or rain.

River Day attracted about 1,200 visitors last year, according to Young. “We really want to bring people to the river to learn about the beauty of nature and its surroundings,” she said.