The Heartbeat of Haverhill

Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA

Rolling On the River Sep. 6 2014 – Haverhill’s River Ruckus Festival

View into Haverhill From Groveland Bridge

View into Haverhill along Merrimack River From Groveland Bridge

Summer gets one last loud “hurrah” with Haverhill’s 2013 River Ruckus on September 7.

Anyone living in Haverhill becomes a little obsessed with the Merrimack River. The Heartbeat of Haverhill admittedly is.

The Heartbeat of Haverhill

The Heartbeat of Haverhill

Whether it’s the old bridges with unusual angles, or the more natural woodland areas where eagles and other wildlife make their homes, there’s something alluring about the river that snakes through our city. And since moving to the area 5 years ago, we’ve wanted to get on that river and try a new vantage point, but our lack of boat has been a deterrent.

Newly Re-Opened Rte 110 Park in Haverhill

Newly Re-Opened Rte 110 Park in Haverhill

Finally, thanks to Team Haverhill and a bunch of volunteers from Clean River Project, we’ll get that chance when the river is looking its best. Did you read the article in the describing the stellar efforts of the Clean River Project? They emptied the river of barges full of trash, and the city cleared sightlines from the street making the Merrimack an even more impressive destination and resource. Find the link to the article at the bottom of this page.

Bradford Bridge

Bradford Bridge

Citizens can celebrate our Merrimack River during the River Ruckus (brought to the City by Team Haverhill) next Saturday, September 7 from 2:00pm to 9:30pm in several locations in Downtown Haverhill/Washington Street and the RiverWalk. The Heartbeat of Haverhill will finally get a new view of the river because Rockingham Boat (pontoon boats) and Plum Island Kayak (kayaks) are offering reasonably priced excursions along our riverfront. Look for us; we’ll be the people with the big smiles and the big cameras.

Merrimack from Riverside Park

Riverside Park Viewpoint Overlooking the Merrimack River

There are dozens of activities throughout the day: the Haverhill Cultural Council’s Arts & Crafts Faire featuring juried art, kids’ fun area, food, fireworks, a great selection of bands, a classic car show, etc., but for us it’s all about the river…and the boats …and the ducks.

And that is where an unsettling mystery starts. The Rotary’s Rubber Duck Regatta fundraiser takes place the same day when 10,000+ ducks purchased through donation will swan dive into the river and paddle madly to the finish line (okay they just float). The winning duck will feather someone’s nest with $10,000!!!   As a reminder, there’s a giant yellow rubber duck in the river…

Rotary Club Rubber Duck Regatta Macot in the Merrimack

Rotary Club Rubber Duck Regatta Mascot in the Merrimack on Friday

He was fine Friday when we snapped a few pics, but a return viewing of the duck on Sunday left our hopes deflated.

Rotary Club Rubber Duck Regatta Mascot  on Sunday...Day of Rest???

Dead Duck???   Rotary Club Rubber Duck Regatta Mascot on Sunday.     Day of Rest???

My daughter suspected Fowl Play. Was it open season for giant sunglasses wearing ducks? Had hostile gulls pecked holes in the mammoth yellow intruder? Had we experienced the Heart “Break”* of Haverhill? We feared the worst until a very helpful man from the Crescent Yacht Club assuaged our concerns with the facts – the generator puffing up the duck was out of gas. Phew! UPDATE FROM ROTARY’S DUCK HEADQUARTERS….WHO CAN HELP? THE DUCK’S GENERATOR SEIZED…..READ COMMENT SECTION BELOW FOR MORE DETAILS


So everybody, go to the River Ruckus, adopt a duck and support the good works of Haverhill’s Rotary Club and take advantage of Team Haverhill’s community building efforts…..and by all means enjoy the river (and the ruckus)!

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS  RiverRuckus_foldingpostcard

Merrimack River from Downtown Early Morning

Merrimack River from Downtown Early Morning

Resources: article on Clean River Project

Clean River Project

Team Haverhill River Ruckus Overview

Team Haverhill River Ruckus Schedule of Events

Haverhill Rotary Club

Haverhill Rotary Club Adopt a Duck site

*Thanks to my mother, Nancy, for this line and for pointing out the duck in the river to me


©2013 by Alison Colby-Campbell

6 comments on “Rolling On the River Sep. 6 2014 – Haverhill’s River Ruckus Festival

  1. Brain4Rent/THoH
    September 2, 2013

    If you like what you see on The Heartbeat of Haverhill….support the blog by following the blog (upper right hand column) “liking” us on FaceBook on the bottom of the page and commenting/providing ideas for future stories in the comment section at the end of each post and did I mention “sharing” Sharing the link on Facebook or twitter even Pinterest and LinkedIn is very helpful…Thank you.

  2. Brain4Rent/THoH
    September 2, 2013

    And as always if we make a mistake or left something out, let us know as soon as possible so we can make amends and corrections.

  3. Brain4Rent/THoH
    September 2, 2013

    HELP NEEDED THIS JUST IN FROM THE QUACKY THE DUCK HEADQUARTERS….HOW CAN HELP A DUCK WITH A SEIZED GENERATOR??? Almost correctly, the blogger learned that the generator inflating the big duck ran out of gas! This morning, one of Quacky’s friends kayaked out to investigate. There was plenty of gas. The friend re-started the generator. But then it seized up and could not be re-started…quack! Harbormaster Mike Vets was married this week and is unable to assist (CONGRATS, Mike!). Quacky’s friends are looking for additional help to get the big duck going again, either on the river or back on top of the Pentucket Bank where Quacky usually surveys hilly Haverhill the week before the race. Stay tuned!

  4. Brain4Rent/THoH
    September 5, 2013

    Oh no the duck has been moved to where the town dock is, but it’s deflated again this evening (Thu)

    • Brain4Rent/THoH
      September 9, 2013

      Hi Traci Thanks for the photos you really captured the spirit of the day. Thank you

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Alison Colby-Campbell



Full-brain user demonstrating a healthy(?) obsession with marketing, promotion, writing, photography, house rabbits, the natural world, tennis, big and small problem solving, reading, hiking, HGTV and the flotsam & jetsam of everyday life. My three blogs Brain4Rent, The Heartbeat of Haverhill, Alison Colby-Campbell Photography are Wordpress based.

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