Juniata RiverFEST to begin on June 29

LEWISTOWN – Juniata RiverFEST is set to begin on June 29. RiverFEST is an all-day independence celebration featuring a 5k River Rampage, “Whatever Floats” on the Juniata River, Rockin’ by the River Entertainment, RiverFEST Idol, vendors, activities and fireworks.

The event is currently looking for sponsors, vendors, 5k runners and Idol contestants.

Open auditions for RiverFEST Idol, a singing competition, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 and 28, at the historic courthouse in downtown Lewistown. Contestants must be 12 years of age or older and auditions must be performed A cappella. Twenty semi-finalists will be chosen by judges and announced on the MERF Radio Morning Show at 9:30 a.m. on May 31. Semi-finals will then be held on June 4 at the same location and must be performed to a background music track. Ten finalists will then be selected to perform at RiverFEST from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 29. The first place winner will record their song with MediaX Creative and have it aired on MERF Radio. In addition, the winner will also serve as judge and performer at next year’s competition.

At 9 a.m., the Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau will present its annual River Rampage 5k to kick off this year’s festivities. The route is a basic flat and fast course. Race day registration will be held at 8 a.m. in the Mifflin County Industrial Development Corporation parking lot. Registration is $12 before June 14 and $15 after. The cost for teams of 10 or more is $10 per person if registered before June 14. The event will be broken into gender and age groups and trophies will be awarded to the top male and female in each category. There will also be an award for best patriotic costume.

In recent years, the RiverFEST raft, regatta and community float has morphed into the “whatever floats” event. The purpose is to enjoy the river any way possible: raft, kayak, floating tube or manmade. The event will be begin at 10 a.m. on June 29 and will be held rain or shine. A Coast Guard approved personal flotation device is mandatory. Registration is not required.

For anyone who is interested in becoming a sponsor, or would like to register for an event, The Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau can be found on the web at www.juniatarivervalley.org or by calling 248-6713.