2018-08-23 / Community News

Line up of events announced for River Jam Festival

On Sept. 14 and 15, the Biddeford Saco River Jam Festival promises to be a celebration of life on the Saco River.

“This is River Jam’s fifth year and it’s really growing in popularity,” said event co-host Delilah Poupore of Heart of Biddeford.

Events include Friday night’s Fringe Festival, Saturday’s daytime events in Mechanics Park, a 5K Road Race, the Dash to the Sea kayak race, and Saturday evening’s concert with food trucks and beer tent behind Run of the Mill.

Fringe Fest kicks off the weekend on Main Street and Shevenell Park in Biddeford from 5 to 9 p.m. The community arts organization Engine has compiled “fringe” events including local breweries, street fare served by downtown restaurants, a performance from the Dark Follies, and a “Pie Luck,” which is a free potluck of pies available to all who attend.

“Fringe Fest gives a spotlight to theater, dance, puppetry, music, visual arts, and spoken word. It’ll be an arts smorgasbord,” said Engine Director Tammy Ackerman.

Also on Friday night from 5 to 8 p.m., the community is invited inside the Pepperell Mill Campus to view the opening of, “Influx: A Multimedia Installation Event” with work inspired by the past, present and future of the mill, the natural elements of the nearby river and ocean, as well as the activities of the people in the mill and surrounding urban areas. Artists will be present at the opening event, and patrons will be able to download a free mobile app, Milla, that will enable them to locate art installations and performances with indoor mobile way finding.

Saturday begins with the River Jam 5K Road Race at 8 a.m., with registration online at RunSignUp.com. Runners can come out for a fun run or compete for prizes in each age category, the top woman and man, as well as team prizes. Advance registration is $20 and day-of registration is $25.

The Biddeford Recreation Department will bring the “Dash to the Sea” kayak race back on the Saco River at 10 a.m. All registration materials are available on the Biddeford Recreation Department website. Registration is $15.

River Jam co-host and director of Saco Main Street, Robert Biggs is enthusiastic about events on the river.

“I get to spend Saturday morning on the Saco River during the Dash to Sea. It’s the river that ties these two communities together, so it’s only fitting that we get out and celebrate it together. Whether you watch a kayak race or get out on the river to try out a canoe, you’ll get to enjoy this beautiful part of our community.”

From noon to 4 p.m., free events kick off in Mechanics Park in Biddeford with performances by Sellam Circus, kid’s games, a curated Makers Market, barbecue lunch for sale, 20 community booths, and free canoe rides on the Saco River (leaving from Rumery’s Boat Yard, just down the block). Visitors can also purchase $20 tickets on Eventbrite for boat tours down the Saco River that leave Rumery’s Boat Yard at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

By 4 p.m., the gates open for the main stage on Saco Island (behind Run of the Mill) where a beer tent and food trucks will welcome visitors for an evening of music. The evening begins with Portland band SnugHouse. They’ll be followed by last year’s winner of the River Jam Battle of the Bands, Bri Lane, who will bring her full band. Sylvain’s Acadian Aces will play in the penultimate spot in the line-up. Spencer Albee and Zach Jones will present a reunion of their former band, As Fast As. Rolling Stone recently called Spencer a “21st Century master in the lost art of Beatlesque hooks.”

River Jam is hosted by Heart of Biddeford and Saco Main Street, with partnerships by Engine, the Biddeford, Saco Chamber, and the cities of Biddeford and Saco. This year’s Presenting Sponsors are Biddeford Savings, Pepperell Mill Campus and Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution. Gold Sponsors are University of New England, Saco Mill No. 4, suger, Prime Motor Group, Town & Country Federal Credit Union, Journal Tribune and Keep it Local. Silver Sponsors are Bette’s Bridal Stylings, Think Tank Biddeford and Saco Valley Credit Union.

All details are available on www.RiverJamFest.com and on Facebook/RiverJamFestival.

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