Digital Exclusive: High River Water Cancels Events, Wyoming Valley Riverfest Still On

Digital Exclusive

WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A family favorite along the Susquehanna River may not be as extensive as it has been in years prior, but it’s still good to go.

The one bit of rain on the parade is recent precipitation causing some cancellations of several events. John Maday is the executive director of the riverfront parks committee and says one of those casualties is the annual dragon boat races.

“This would have been our ninth year for dragon boat racing–because the river came up so high, it’s unsafe,” said Maday. “If it’s above five feet–the water is too high and too fast for those boats to be on the water, especially if they are basically amateurs.”

The family fishing derby as well as kayak sojourns over the weekend have also been scratched, for now. Maday says everything not effected by the high water is still on.

“Logistically, it gets complicated, but we’ve been doing it for 24 years, so we’re, usually, pretty good at it,” he added.

He says the events on the water are a big draw for the event, but they aren’t the most important thing.

“We gear everything we do towards families.”

Riverfest aims at education through family-friendly outdoor events that include a giant tent for classes, food, entertainment and on-the-river experiences, most years. Maday says the spirit of the event and the organization that runs it will keep bringing the crowd back year after year.

“When they see it is being coordinated by the riverfront parks committee, they know that there’s going to be something for their kids, their families and that’s the attraction,” he added. “It’s our reputation.”

Rain may have been a factor in canceling some events for the 24th annual Riverfest event, but the weather is supposed to hold out for a beautiful weekend. 

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