Inaugural Salisbury Riverfest makes big splash downtown

SALISBURY, Md. – Saturday afternoon,  the inaugural Salisbury Riverfest made a big splash downtown bringing families out for a day of fun on the water. “Today is a gathering that includes vendors, makers from around the Salisbury region, and food vendors. We got beverages and then we have lots of fun activities,” Salisbury Mayor Jake Day said.

City officials say the event was an effort to bring Salisbury’s riverfront back to life. “We know we have really successful downtown events, remembering our downtown festival and our third Fridays. We thought we’d do something like that but really showcase the river,” Deputy City Administrator Andy Kitzrow said.

Speaking of the river, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake and Wicomico Environmental Trust were both present, spreading awareness on water quality. “We say do onto those down stream as you would have those upstream do unto you because all water flows down and it takes the pollution with it. So we look at water quality as an environmental justice issue,” Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake’s Bonnie Sorak said.

“We have been monitoring the river since 2003. So next year will be 20 years of health and quality data on the Wicomico River,” Wicomico Environmental Trust’s Susan Parker said.

One the most unique offerings of the day was the Funny Farm Petting Zoo.

Tabatha Roberts tells us it’s a travel zoo, which makes its quite a challenge to upkeep. She adds the smiling faces make it all worth it. “And I saw how much joy it brought the kids and stuff. I absolutely love doing what I do. It’s not even just the kids, the adults love it too,” Roberts said.

Riverfest is the first of many initiatives of Salisbury’s Arts, Business, and Culture Department.

It’s an area Mayor Jake Day says will have a big economic impact for the city. “Bringing people out to ultimately get to know one another, spend money, and support small and local businesses. All of that is sort of the mix that helps the community thrive and last,” Mayor Day said.

Organizers tell 47ABC that this may have been the first year of the event but it wont be the last.

We’re told preparations are already underway to bring it back bigger and better next year.

To find out more about Wicomico Environmental Trust, click here

To find out more about Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, click here

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