After going 100% virtual in 2020, due to the pandemic, the Poudre River Festival is back in a hybrid format (part virtual and part in-person). The final event for the festival will be held on Saturday, August 21st at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado. The annual event, created to promote and celebrate the Poudre River, is a vital resource to many communities in Northern Colorado that features live music, exhibitor booths, interactive games, food trucks, beer tasting, and door prizes. Visitors are also invited to learn about river restoration projects being led by local non-profits and to sign up to volunteer in future initiatives.
“Having the Poudre RiverFest return in-person in 2021 means that our community can gather in support of one of the most vital resources to Northern Colorado. And after the devastating wildfire season that we experienced in 2020, the need to garner attention and fundraising efforts for the Poudre River is more important than ever.” – says Megan Maiolo-Heath, Communications and Marketing Manager at Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed.
The Poudre RiverFest was first held in May of 2014 in the wake of devastatingly high floodwaters in 2013 for the river. A group of local non-profits decided to pool their resources and bring together their unique expertise to create a festival focused solely on the Cache la Poudre River. They wanted to help people learn about the river, but also get their hands a bit dirty and raise a glass to this natural treasure. For 2021, the event is being organized by five non-profit entities, including the Wildlands Restoration volunteers, Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, City of Fort Collins Utilities, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, National Association of Interpretation, and the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions still being in place across the U.S. this Summer, the event’s organisers had to scale the festival down from 3,500-4,000 attendees to a mini version of the event. So, only 750-1,000 visitors are expected throughout the day. All safety protocols that New Belgium currently follows during regular operating hours are in place for the event, which will also be 100% outdoors.
It is progress after communities around the area were hit hard by the pandemic and were further set back by the Cameron Peak Fire, the largest wildfire in Colorado history. The fire started on August 13th in the mountains west of Fort Collins, blazing for more than 90 days and resulting in the loss of over 200,000 acres and a cost of more than $132 million.
The festival, scheduled to start at 1pm on August 21st, is completely free to the public. Radio DJ Emily Mashak, from 99.9 The Point, Liz Barnez Trio, and Lois & the Lantern are amongst the guest performers. All proceeds raised from the day will help support restoration projects on the Cache la Poudre River.
For more information about the festival, as well as a schedule of the events, go to www.poudreriverfest.org.
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