Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
Haverhill resident and photographer Cathy Christie filled in for The Heartbeat of Haverhill at the River Ruckus and provided the following blog post as well as many of the photographs. THOH added a little info, a few minor edits and a couple of photos, and basically had a week off. Cathy’s photography business is Chatty Snaps Photography. Thank you to Cathy and her family for chronicling their good time and being our first ever guest blogger!
I attended this year’s River Ruckus with my 2 boys. It was the fourth year it was put on and our second year attending. The Haverhill Rotary Club and Team Haverhill came together to put on the event sponsored by The River 92.5. As experienced attendees we knew to park in the nearby garage, and print out a list of the event times so we didn’t miss anything. We arrived on Washington Street at 2 o’clock, the official start time, and downtown was already buzzing with people. We took our time walking down the street since both sides were lined with cars of all ages, shapes, and colors and we didn’t want to miss anything. As each owner talked about his/her car it was easy to see how much he/she cared about their prized vehicle. A man played guitar on the side of the street to accompany our viewing.
Next up we headed to Riverfront Park behind The Tap and the energy was amazing. We saw many familiar Haverhill faces and some new ones all in smiles and laughter. The kids section offered events from 2-6 p.m.. A friendly and well coordinated team managed the children’s activities. My kids played games, did some tie dye, and of course jumped in the bouncy house.
One highlight took us out on Haverhill’s celebrated Merrimack River. We purchased tickets to ride the Pontoon boat and enjoy a unique view of our amazing city. The captain of our boat did a great job of talking to us about the Clean River Project. Clean River Project brings together volunteers who sometimes get waist deep in the Merrimack to pull out or identify anything that doesn’t belong there: tires, trash, even abandoned cars. You could also try paddling kayaks for a close up, self propelled view of the river.
MD Padfield serenaded the crowd with her guitar and family friendly music. The beer and wine garden provided refreshment for adults. The Taste of Haverhill showcased a great variety of local food vendors at affordable prices.
The Haverhill Cultural Council’s Arts and Craft Faire was held inside at air conditioned 90 Washington Street. Viewing outstanding and local artistry was a great way to get out of the heat. Visitors were immediately greeted with an array of 20 local vendors’ displays of jewelry, pottery, numerous arts and crafts, paintings and literature.
The artists eagerly discussed their work and inspirations. People were encouraged to vote for their favorite vendor adding to the excitement of the event. Jay Mooers booth showcasing fantasy art and books, as well as paintings and illustrations received the public choice award in a very close contest.
Around 5 o’clock it was obvious the clouds were coming in. Everyone crowded to the riverside to watch the Rubber Duck Regatta. First prize $10,000 went to Donald Campbell, Meredith Atwood took home second prize, and third went to Michele Martin. These three top prize winners are all from Haverhill.
The crowd then headed inside to sit out the rain. Once the rain passed, we were rewarded with a beautiful double rainbow over the river.
The Aldous Collins Band performed for over an hour. The band had a great way of interacting with the crowd and keeping the energy alive. People of all ages and kids made their way to the front of the stage to dance and sing along. The final event of the evening was the spectacular fireworks show. Adults and children watched in awe at the display that lit up the sky for about 20 minutes ending in a grand finale of vibrant colors. River Ruckus is a great way to showcase our city and its thriving riverfront as we close out the summer. With the amazing turn out from Merrimack Valley residents and local vendors I hope we continue to have this event every year.
(c)2014 by Alison Colby-Campbell, Cathy Christie, and Alexandra Caruso