GREENWICH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The annual “Battenkill Runs Through It” River Festival returns on Saturday, May 28, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Battenkill Riverside Park, just north of Greenwich on State Route 29. This free, family-oriented, community-supported festival has kicked off the summer season on the banks of the Battenkill since 2011. The event includes kayak and canoe rides, great food from area restaurants, and kid-friendly nature-inspired activities, including a trout pinata.

The Battenkill Conservancy started the event as a way to promote greater public access to the river at one of the largest public parks on its banks. Before the event, the Battenkill Riverside Park, formerly known as the Greenwich Town Beach, was closed year-round except for six short weeks in July and August. The organization advocated with town officials that the park should remain open year-round as a recreational resource for the community.

2021 marked the first year that the gates remained open allowing for all to enjoy the pavilion, the new children’s playground, and the river. The festival has also been instrumental in increasing public awareness of the river as one of the area’s most important environmental and recreational assets. By highlighting the artistic talents, local products, and area restaurants, the festival highlights the best of the Battenkill for residents and visitors alike, who come from the Capital Region to explore the area.

Over the years, the festival has hosted a variety of musical talents from throughout the area including Bob Warren, Peter Maine, Richie & Lynne Bittner, Rural Soul owner, Chelsie Henderson with members of the now-popular East Bound Jesus band, and more. Old-time musical acts led by George Wilson have included Alan Epstein & Mitch Troop. In 2016, the Adirondack Fiddlers led the crowd with an old-fashioned square dance call.

For 2022, the popular regional band, HEARD, will headline the entertainment which kicks off with a flag-raising ceremony and a community singalong of “America the Beautiful.” Master fiddler George Wilson and friends will kick off the music as DJ Joyce Jackey of WEXT 97.7 and 106.1 public radio emcees the event.

The festival has always delivered on offering a robust and healthy variety of food anchored by the Salem Boy Scouts’ famous chicken barbeque. Side dishes from quality caterers and restaurants such as Amigos Cantina combined with homemade dishes result in the Battenkill Picnic Plate that satisfies all palates. Vegetarian offerings, kids’ plates, and desserts from talented chefs and specialty bakers will be offered. Given the abundance of dairy farms in the area, one can only hope that some local ice cream will be made available for festival-goers.

The “Battenkill Runs Through It” River Festival will be held on May 28 from noon to 5 p.m. All events are free to the public.