Monday, July 15, 2024
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River Street Festival floats on this weekend

by MONTE TURNER
Mineral Independent | July 10, 2024 12:00 AM

The second annual River Street Festival Great Montana SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) Sprint is next up for family excitement in Mineral County. The name has become larger, but then the event has certainly grown in accordance.

A short recap: The Great Montana SUP Race debuted last year and was the brainchild of the Mineral County Rec Club. The Rec Club was formed by Drew Hanson with a slug of support from locals who went to school with Hanson years ago, and residents that saw the potential of what this event could become. 

“OK, on Saturday the 13th, we’ve added a warm-up 3K trail walk/run at 9 in the morning to kick off the weekend. Then at 10, registration closes and there will be a meeting with officials and all participants,” Hanson explained. “At 11, is the Great Montana SUP Sprint and we separated out the categories to give competitors better chances at winning prizes. We have a youth (10-17), Amateur, Pro, Golden Race (over 60), and of course, the Superhero Race that goes back upriver.” 

Big Eddy FWP Fishing Access is the starting gate for racers apart from the Superhero Race. 

“We are trying to give the layout and timing a better flow,” said Hanson.

The return of the Derby Ball is where you guess how long this ball will take to make it to the Veterans Bridge in Superior after being dropped into the river at the Lozeau Crossing bridge. 

“Those tickets can be purchased at Superior Meats, Mineral Energy, Backstreet Salon, and the Nugget Lounge. Darlows Ace donated a beautiful 36" Blackstone Griddle that is being raffled off too and tickets can be purchased at the same locations.”

More than 25 vendors from food, soap, furs, wood creations, face paintings, organizations that are involved in the health of the Clark Fork River, jewelry, photography, lemonade, bread, clothing and skateboard supplies. These merchants will follow the Saturday Market who will be set up at 9 a.m. in their usual locations. The Kids Zone opens at 11 a.m. on the front lawn of the old Superior School. Sadly, the 54 Cornhole will be missing from the lineup this year. To be strategic in scheduling with other cornhole tournaments, this popular cornhole tournament is not being held until July 27.

 Costumes are encouraged among the racers, spectators and vendors and anyone in Superior on July 13. Hanson shared logistical changes for 2024. 

“We are moving the bulk of the non-racing activities to River Side Avenue at the old Superior School. This way, vendors, awards, evening entertainment, and kids splash zone are all in better proximity to one another. 

“We are really trying to get first timers involved,” he said. “One of the biggest pieces of feedback we got from beginners to pros alike last year is that this is the perfect race for first timers on paddleboards.” 

River Street Bradshaw Media will be providing live music near the beer garden immediately following the SUP awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. 

“We want racers," Hanson smiled. “We want youth racers who are often some of the most competitive in heats like these. We want beginners to sign up for the Amateur Division. We want Pros who show us what’s possible. These events are hard to plan because it depends on how many people sign up.  If nothing else, you will get an amazing swag bag put together with stuff from Blackfoot Wireless, Mineral Community Hospital, St Regis Travel Center, Superior Meats, River Side Soups and Sandz, and more.” 

The next afternoon at 1 p.m. is The Great Flotilla Community Float from Big Eddy to the Dry Creek FWP Fishing Access. 

“I hope people are dusting their floating things off and making sure they hold air,” he said. 

Parking at Big Eddy is limited so some may need to drop their floating devices and park elsewhere. Shuttles will be provided to get floaters back to their rigs.

“This really would not happen without our planning people, which has grown this year and includes Carissa Kuhl, Bessie Spangler, Curtis Cochran, Loie Turner, Darlene Jasper, Debbie Hanson, Ayme Krogstad, Cassie Ostle, Jess Nagy, Sierra Ireland, Stephanie Quick, and Jen Donovan, Teal Post who our clever marketing content producer.” 

Hanson wasn’t through handing out accolades.

 “There are additional people who volunteer on the day of or can be found helping at all of our events, and they play a pivotal role in the success. We must also thank the businesses that sell raffle tickets, donate, and sponsor us. We are working on ways to honor them and their support of all Mineral County Organizations.”  

Registration is open and details of the weekend are at www.riverstreetfest.com.