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25th Annual River Appreciation Day
River Day FishRiver Appreciation Day was initiated over two decades ago by a group of committed citizens concerned about the health of the Umpqua River. Today this community-based event continues to bring us together to celebrate and enjoy the river on which we all depend. As a non-profit organization, we need the support of community members and the businesses of Douglas County to continue this local tradition. We count on your contribution to make the event a success. The event is always free and everyone is invited to attend.

For this year’s event, we are planning activities for children, delicious food, a group river float, local musicians, and a disc golf tournament. As always, it will also be a great opportunity to learn about and enjoy life on the Umpqua River. Throughout its history, River Appreciation Day has moved all over Douglas County to highlight beautiful and different places in our watershed. This year we are returning to Whistler’s Bend Park for our day of celebration. The festivities will be from 1-8pm on July 16, 2011, and campsites for the weekend are currently available, but will go fast.

Thank you in advance for supporting the 25th Annual River Appreciation Day, and Umpqua Watersheds. Hope to see you there!

History of River Appreciation Day

After a number of gut-wrenching sewage spills from Roseburg into the South Umpqua River, concerned citizens gathered together and created a river awareness event called River Appreciation Day.

The first River Appreciation Day was held at River Forks Park in September of 1987. Musician friends were contacted, and a flatbed trailer served as the stage. Posters were placed all over Roseburg, inviting all those who were able, to come. The September day, turned out to be cloudy and cool, but the event was a resounding success! Flush with triumph, the group decided that the next year’s event would be on the third Saturday in July, thereby ensuring better weather and fewer conflicts with fall school events.

The third year, Dr. John Kitzhaber, then President of the Oregon State Senate, physician, and Roseburg resident, was invited to be the keynote speaker. The group had asked him if it would be possible to make River Appreciation Day a recognized day across the state. He wrote and submitted the bill that passed through the legislature, and it has been in place ever since. Thus, in 1989, the third Saturday in July officially became River Appreciation Day in the state of Oregon!

Over the years the celebration has rotated though many of the local parks that are on our rivers. Along with River Forks Park, the event has been hosted at Black Rock Meadows, Whistler’s Bend Park, the Elkton Community Center, Stanton Park, and Stewart Park, to name a few. This year we are returning to Whistler’s Bend Park once again. Our event consists of wonderful family fun activities along with camping, hiking, disc golf, and great food. It also features local artisans and musicians and many booths of like-minded organizations that are there to educate and inspire. There is also the annual ‘river float’ in the morning, before the festivities begin. This has become a great opportunity for people to safely experience the beauty and serenity of the river first-hand, with experienced and knowledgeable boaters leading the way.

Over the years thousands of citizens have continued to celebrate the values of protecting the Umpqua Rivers. Clean, clear, cool water for the inhabitants of the river and the entire watershed must be maintained and it is important to all of us to become involved in keeping it that way. Our hand is extended to you, your family, friends, co-workers, employees, and acquaintances, to join us at this event. We want to see everyone involved in perpetuating the celebration and festive atmosphere of River Appreciation Day, for generations to come!

Live Music

Alice DiMicele

Alice DiMicele
For more than 23 years, Alice DiMicele has been playing her unique blend of Americana, groove folk, and acoustic soul to crowds across the United States. Based in the Pacific Northwest, DiMicele's music celebrates the natural world and the people in it.

A Strange Attractor
A Strange Attractor plays Jamericana music: a Roots Rock gumbo seasoned with Reggae, Funk, Worldbeat and Americana.

River Rafting

River Day rafting

Saturday morning, JULY 16, there will be a river float from below Colliding Rivers to Whistler’s Bend Park. Rafter can meet at 8am to pump up rafts and join the shuttle trucks. Each rafter is responsible for their own oars, lifejackets and floating device. River float should arrive to Whistler’s Bend Park before the free music starts at 1pm.
Disc Golf Tournament

River Day Disc GolfThis year will include a disc golf tournament at the Whistler's Bend disc golf course. More information coming soon.