Riverfest 2020

Though music and group activities have been cancelled, community members can celebrate Riverfest by contributing to one of several "Story Stations" along the Big Wood River.

The sixth annual Riverfest will look very different this year, but the Wood River Land Trust is nonetheless encouraging people to consider the beauty and importance of the Big Wood River.

Last month, the Hailey City Council moved to cancel or postpone a slew of major summer events in light of current health concerns. Last week, the council announced its intentions for an entirely restructured Fourth of July parade, though other Independence Day festivities have been jettisoned.

Typically, the Wood River Land Trust’s Riverfest proceeds in conjunction with Hailey’s Fourth of July celebrations, bringing live music, food and craft vendors, activities for families and more to the Draper Preserve.

Given social distancing constraints, Riverfest was one of many events called off this year. Rather than going for a full-blown cancellation, however, The Wood River Land Trust announced this week that it will be pursuing a reimagined Riverfest with the continued aim of honoring the Big Wood River.

In lieu of traditional celebrations, the land trust is inviting the community to write love letters to the river.

A statement from the land trust on Monday argued why current circumstances can offer a way for more people to reflect on the importance of the river to the community.

“During this time of social distancing and COVID-19 uncertainty, more than ever, the Big Wood River has been a source of happiness for our community,” the Land Trust said. “From walking along its banks while social distancing, to watching trout spawning below the Bow Bridge in Hailey, mane of us have reconnected with and rediscovered our love of the Big Wood River.”

Those who wish to write of their affection for the river—or perhaps offer a sketch or something artistic—will be able to contribute to various “Story Stations” set up by the land trust at the Draper Preserve in Hailey, the Howard Preserve in Bellevue, Colorado Gulch in Hailey and Boxcar Bend Preserve in the mid valley.

"Story Stations" will be available on July 4.

People may also submit digitally by accessing a webform on the organization’s website, woodriverlandtrust.org. For more information, visit that site or call 208-788-3947.

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