Lion's Club RiverFest

Expect to see some new activities, like tie dying, at Saturday’s RiverFest. There will also be plenty of food even without the steak and lobster dinner. As the day goes on, enjoy the musical stylings of James Crockett.

After taking a hiatus in 2020 due to coronavirus, the Marshall Lion’s Club annual RiverFest returns Saturday, Aug. 14. The day will be filled with activities that will bring people to Marshall Firemen’s Park from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We are super excited to be back hosting events in Marshall,” said Lions President Denny Kloepping.

RiverFest is the club’s largest annual fundraiser with proceeds going back to the community to help residents in need and beautify the community.

“We are looking forward to once again be providing a fun, family friendly event for the community and seeing everyone come together,” said Lion Paul Wehking. “Marshall is a great place to live and events like this help bring us all closer together.”

While COVID-19 did not cancel the 2021 event, it has caused a few changes; there will be no steak and lobster dinners. Wehking said because of the pandemic, the club’s lobster supplier was unable to guarantee the delivery of 900 fresh lobster tails. With this in mind, the organization did not want to offer the dinners though the club does anticipate the steak and lobster dinner to return in 2022.

There will still be plenty of food offerings including steak sandwiches, burgers, brats, hot dogs, corn and curly fries. The Marshall Scholarship Foundation will be selling a variety of ice cream-based treats. Beverages will also be sold at the park.

There has also been a shift in activities. Wehking said when planning for an event with approximately 1,500 attendees and uncertainty of the pandemic, such as changing health guidance, the club wanted activities that did not require too much advance coordination.

“We also like to try new things, mix it up a little bit and work to add events that a wide range of people and families can participate in,” said event Chairwoman Lion Renee Jackson.

This year’s RiverFest will feature three tournaments: co-ed kickball, Euchre and bean bags. Registration for each tournament will be done on-site with games beginning at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. respectively. Each co-ed kickball team must have eight players who are ages and 12 and older. There is a $40 entry fee with a 100% payout for first and second place.

The winner of the Euchre tournament, which has a $5 entry fee, also receives a 100% payout as does the bean bag tournament. The entry fee for the latter event is $20 per team.

Individuals looking for a bit more competition can participate in the three-legged races and tug o’war.

Attendees can also create tie dye t-shirts in the afternoon at the price of $8 per person.

Additionally, everyone can get paid to help eradicate carp from the Maunesha River. The five-hour carp rodeo gets underway at 9 a.m. with a $1 payout for each carp caught and turned in.

The Maunesha River Alliance (MRA) is partnering with the Lion’s Club to provide water-based activities are RiverFest. MRA will help people explore the navigable waterway with kayaks and canoes that will be available for rent for a suggested donation. The group will also host competitive games of tennis ball 6 where players attempt to collect six tennis balls while in a kayak; the tournament style play can accommodate up to 16 people.

MRA’s other competitive event will be kayak water polo, a mix of ultimate Frisbee, football and water polo.

RiverFest will also serve as a drop-off point for the Lion’s annual Stuff the Bus campaign to collect school supplies for local students. Among the items people are asked to donate are earbuds/headphones, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, backpacks, pencils, notebooks, crayons, glue, pens, folders, and glue. Monetary donations can be mailed to: Marshall Lions Club, Attn: Stuff the Bus, PO Box 655 Marshall, WI 53559.

The event will be held rain or shine, said Wehking, though some events may need to be cancelled due to inclement weather.

For more information, check the Lion’s Club website, www.sightfirst.com.

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