SEAFORD — Grab your paddles, inflate your inflatables, build your rafts and bring your hearty appetite for food, fun and entertainment to downtown Seaford on July 10.
The Nanticoke Riverfest is officially out of quarantine.
A COVID-19 pandemic cancellation in 2020, Riverfest will return this year, with new twists joining traditional staples.
The 26th edition of Riverfest will feature stage entertainment, craft/business vendors, food, an artists’ alley, a bike raffle, a car show, a children’s area, the popular float-in and the debut of the Oyster House Paddle.
The float-in, Riverfest’s signature event, will ship off at 8:30 a.m. at First State Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery on Riverside Drive, adjacent to southbound U.S. 13 and across from the Seaford Ice Plant. Registration and shuttle service will begin at 8.
The timing for the float-in will be contingent upon tidal flow.
“We try to put people in once high tide is flowing pretty good. This year, high tide is at 6:13 in the morning — clearly, we’re not going to start at 6:13 — but this way, high tide is actually moving, so the water is moving a little bit faster,” said Riverfest Committee Chair Katie Hickey. “People will bring the biggest floats, and then, they put coolers in there. They just have a good, old time.”
Meanwhile, kayakers, canoeists and standup paddleboarders are invited to take part in the inaugural Oyster House Paddle.
Participants can register at the Seaford boat ramp, then begin their paddle to multiple locations, including the city’s new Oyster House Park, in search of a numbered oyster shell.
After visiting the locations and picking up their shells, paddlers will turn them in to the registration booth for a chance to win prizes. Registration for the paddle will be $25, which includes a goody bag and T-shirt coupon.
Crafters and business vendors will set up shop along High Street from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
And this year, a food truck alley will occupy the Mount Olivet United Methodist Church parking lot, rather than High Street as in the past.
“So it will be a little bit different of a layout that people are used to,” said Ms. Hickey.
Entertainment, which will include Grace Baptist Church (9 a.m.), the Nanticoke Indian Dance Troop (11), guitar soloist Bob Myers (noon), the Sussex Sassy Dancers from the Nanticoke Senior Center (1), Charlie and The CoolTones (3) and the Reunion Band (4), will be staged on a grassy area across from City Hall on High Street.
The car show will begin at 10.
For the smallest visitors, a large children’s area at Gateway Park will feature separate live entertainment and craft stations from 10 to 4.
All floaters under age 16 must wear a life jacket. The Seaford Volunteer Fire Department and the Blades Volunteer Fire Co. will have divers and boats in the water for safety.
A limited number of tubes and life jackets will be on sale at the event. The cost to enter the float-in will be $1. The takeout point will be the canoe launch near Water Street.