Middlebury Riverfest offers fun, education for all ages

Water, hands-on activities and live animals make for fun at Riverfest.

Posted on Aug. 5, 2014 at 10:27 p.m.

Middlebury’s Riverfest will offer a day of fun and discovery for the whole family Saturday, Aug. 16, in Riverbend Park, located at 511 E. Warren St.

Riverfest will feature two live animal shows. At 11 a.m.,“Live Nocturnal Animals” will explore creatures that are active at night. At 1 p.m., “Live Bats of the World” will explain why bats are some of the most beneficial animals on the planet.

A bird hike for adults will begin at 8 a.m. At 9 a.m., John McKee, park board president, will lead a river history hike. McKee will share why the Little Elkhart River was key to the establishment and growth of Middlebury and how water powered the mills that were on the river.

At 10 a.m. there will be a fish shocking demonstration. An electrical current is put into the river to temporarily stun fish so they can be netted and put in tanks. Fish shocking shows naturalists a snapshot of what species live in the river and allows the crowd at Riverfest an opportunity to see and learn about the fish. The fish are returned to the river unharmed.

Rain barrels painted by Middlebury Community School students will be auctioned off at 1 p.m., giving purchasers a chance to celebrate the artwork of local students and a practical way to conserve water.

The ETHOS Science Bus will offer opportunities to explore a microscopic world, learn amazing facts about water and the bugs that live in the water and how important fresh water is to all life on earth. Other hands-on activities include water related games, crafts, other environmental exhibits and kayak rides on the river. Food will also be available for purchase.

Learn more on the town of Middlebury’s website.


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