Shenandoah Riverfest & Rodeo Celebrates Shared Natural Resource

Photo courtesy of Shenandoah Riverkeeper

The Shenandoah River is a vital aspect of the history and day-to-day life in Clarke County and two local organizations have joined together to celebrate the mighty Shenandoah this weekend. Shenandoah Riverkeeper and Canoe Capital of Virginia will bring families an unforgettable day of river fun,   live music, and camping with the  Shenandoah Riverfest & Rodeo this Saturday August 13th, in Front Royal.

The Shenandoah Riverfest is a free event that is open to the public and is designed to connect people with the Shenandoah River through activities such as canoe trips, live wild animal displays, and fly fishing lessons. This year the Riverfest is being held in conjunction with The Shenandoah River Rodeo. Event organizer Jeff Kelble said, “This year, we are thrilled to be combining our Rodeo with the Riverfest. Bring the family for free canoe trips, games, wild animal displays, and more. Save some of your energy for the Rodeo Party. We’ll have food and beer, bluegrass music, and camping. Children under 12 are free!” Jeff Kelble is a resident of Boyce, VA who stepped out of his guide raft and into conservation work at the end of 2005 when he started the Shenandoah Riverkeeper Program.   Mr. Kelble patrols the valley and the river reporting threats to its health, and works to protect the river and the public’s right to use it.

Photo courtesy of Shenandoah Riverkeeper

The Riverfest will take place between 10:00am and 3:00pm. Admission and activities are free. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the VFW Post. Activities include: canoe trips on the Shenandoah, local live music, live wild animal education and display, swimming and fishing in the Shenandoah River, flyfishing lessons, fish shocking demonstration, river rescue demo, conservation midway, kids’ activities, competitions, and a raffle (items include: kayaks, a canoe, flyfishing gear, art and more).

The Rodeo will take place between 4:00pm and 8:00pm and is a ticketed event. Admission is $40 for first ticket, $30 for additional tickets, and sponsorship levels of $200 (four tickets) and $500 (six tickets and an option to enter the fishing competition). Children under 12 are admitted free. Admission includes big BBQ, drinks (beer, soda, and water), live bluegrass music, and riverbank camping. The Rodeo is named after an afternoon fishing competition between the Valley’s biggest fishing guides. If you are interested in fishing, guests can reserve a seat in the competition and join one of the guides ($250 donation requested).

Riverfest and Rodeo will also include a raffle with two drawings, one during each event.   Major prizes include two kayaks, a canoe, fishing rod/reels, art and more.   Tickets are $5 for one ticket and $10 for three tickets. Tickets are currently available at the Front Royal Visitor’s Center and will be sold at Riverfest and the Rodeo. Raffle prizes must be picked up at the time of the drawing or at the Front Royal Visitors Center within 30 days of the drawing.

All proceeds support the Shenandoah Riverkeeper organization and river protection.   For more information visit:


  1. CCHS student says:

    I attended the Riverfest in Front Royal and had a great time. I did the free three mile canoe paddle along the river, The vendors, such as Friends of Shenandoah River had a lot of good information. There was food and great music. It was a fun event. Thanks for having it.