The Brewer Riverwalk, a recently expanded walking path along the Penobscot River, will be the home of the third annual Riverwalk Festival on Saturday.
Organized by the city and local businesses, this year’s festival will include live music, theater performances, fireworks, tables for local vendors, a fun run, craft fair, food trucks and activities for children. The offerings will be scattered along the Riverwalk, Center Street and North and South Main Street.
With more than 50 crafters, 13 nonprofits and about 20 businesses signed up to offer tables, the festival is slated to be “bigger and better” than prior years, according to Renee Doble, Brewer’s economic development deputy director.
“It was a very successful event last year, so the goal this year is to get more people to enjoy the Riverwalk, learn about Brewer businesses and have fun,” Doble said.
The daylong celebration of the riverfront trail, which has become a source of pride for the community, is expected to draw 3,000 to 4,000 attendees, well more than the 2,000 visitors expected during last year’s event, according to Doble.
About 15 volunteers have registered to help run the day’s events, nearly double the eight volunteers who helped last year, Doble said. However, the city would like to have 20 to 25 volunteers registered by Saturday.
The city held a smaller, similar festival when the Riverwalk’s first expansion was unveiled in 2019. That event gave the city the idea to create an annual celebration, but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the festival from taking shape for two years.
Last year’s Riverwalk Festival — the first after the pandemic — garnered foot traffic for local businesses and vendors and encouraged organizers to continue the annual event.
Built in 2018, the first section of the paved walking path starts at Hardy Street, by Mason’s Brewing Company, and extends north to the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge, which carries traffic across the river between Bangor and Brewer.
The second phase of the project, unveiled in 2019, expanded the path to run through the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge to Veteran’s Park.
The most recent addition, which began last year, extended the mile-long path another 900 feet south from Mason’s to South Main Street.
Cyr Bus Line will offer a free shuttle service from the Joseph L. Ferris Community Center, where visitors can park, to Center Street where many of the day’s festivities will be based.
A full schedule and map of the day’s events are available on the festival’s Facebook page.