On Saturday, July 20, RiverLink will host the Anything That Floats Parade along the French Broad River. The parade will culminate with RiverFest at New Belgium Brewery. All proceeds from the two events go directly back to RiverLink to support programs that serve the local community.
The parade begins at Hominy Creek River Park at 9 a.m. and floats down to the dock at the Craven Street Bridge. The public can view the parade from many of the greenways and parks along Amboy Road and Riverside Drive, as well as from the Liquid Center deck at New Belgium. Everyone is invited to float with registration, which is now open. The fee is $25 and floats must be registered and paid for by Friday, July 12. “This has been a signature event for RiverLink longer than anyone can remember,” says RiverLink executive director Garrett Artz. “This is where the creative energy and skill of Asheville and the River Arts District meet the river for one day to float. It is just another way we connect people to their watershed to experience the river.” This year’s Anything That Floats Parade is sponsored by French Broad Outfitters, Mosaic Realty and Black Orthodontics.
Both floaters and viewers are encouraged to follow up the morning float with RiverFest, which will be held from 1–8 p.m. at New Belgium’s Liquid Center on the river. The musical lineup for this year’s festival includes Alarm Clock Conspiracy, Ashley Heath and Her Heathens, Lyric, and Coconut Cake. “New Belgium is honored to support RiverLink wherever, however, and as often as we can,” says Michael Craft, employee-owner and Asheville community and communications ambassador for New Belgium. “We believe that RiverLink’s mission to promote the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River and its watershed is critical to our healthy and happy community. With our facility on the banks of the French Broad, it is a daily reminder of how special and how intrinsically intertwined we are with our watershed.”
RiverFest is free and open to the public with a suggested donation at the event. Along with New Belgium Brewing, stage sponsor Prestige Subaru also helps to make this event possible. “Asheville is full of wonderful events that support great causes,” says Craft, “but this one is extra special to us because we get to celebrate the very river our campus lives next to with a beer in our hand.”