June 16, 2024 11:20 am

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Free River Activities for All at 42nd Annual Huron River Day Festival, Sunday, May 15

Credit: iStock

Enjoy the beautiful Huron River with free, family-friendly river activities during the Huron River Day festival at Gallup Park, 3000 Fuller Road in Ann Arbor, Sunday, May 15, noon–4 p.m. For just $5, you can paddle a boat (canoe or kayak), try stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), listen to live music and eat delicious, local food — all while learning about the Huron River. Fun, river-themed exhibits and children’s activities, fishing, studying river critters with the Huron River Watershed Council, live animals from the Leslie Science & Nature Center and squirting water with the Dirt Doctor.

The program kicks off with music from Hullabaloo and opening remarks from Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Evan Pratt. Joe Reilly will then sing his popular, playfully joyful songs about nature; and Kat Steih follows with folk, rock and spirituals. The last act of the day will be the Neutral Zone Jazz Combo. Many of the musicians will perform songs that celebrate the Huron River.

Tasty treats will be available for purchase from a variety of local food trucks including Ray’s Red Hots, Bao Boys, Humus Falafel, Petey’s Donuts and Hello! Ice Cream. Parking is available in Gallup Park, but if you ride your bike to the festival, and use the bike corral, your boat rental will be free.

Gallup Park activities, noon-4 p.m.:

• Educational and fun river exhibits.

• Children’s scavenger hunt with cool prizes.

• Paddle a boat with $5 canoe and kayak rentals.

• Try stand-up paddle boarding (SUP).

• Classic wooden boat demonstration.

• Dirt Doctor water squirting to learn how to keep our waterways clean.

• Live music under a tent adjacent to the river.

• Kids activities (prizes for participants).

• Live animals from the Leslie Science & Nature Center.

• Purchase delicious local food provided by food trucks.

• Fishing fun — poles, bait and instruction included.

• River critters with the Huron River Watershed Council.

“Huron River Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the river that flows through our community. The Huron provides us with so many benefits — drinking water, a home for wildlife, a place for recreation and to enjoy nature. We hope everyone will come connect with the river and learn how they play a part in protecting it,” Rebecca Esselman, executive director of the Huron River Watershed Council.

The Huron River Day celebration is sponsored by DTE Energy Foundation. Additional support is provided by Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner, Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation, the City of Ann Arbor and the Huron River Watershed Council.

Huron River Day History

More than 40 years ago, the Huron River Day celebration began as a way to encourage partnerships among government, private and non-profit organizations and to educate the community about the importance of water quality and Huron River preservation. Each year, this event draws more than 1,000 people from Ann Arbor and surrounding areas to celebrate the Huron River. 

For more information about Huron River Day, call 734.794.6240 or visit https://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/play/Pages/Huron-River-Day.aspx

Huron River Day Merchandise

Show up in style by purchasing a t-shirt (children and adult sizes) or a tote bag in honor of Huron River Day. Place an order in advance of the event, and sport your purchase on Sunday, May 15! Visit the website to make a purchase, https://merch.undergroundshirts.com/collections/ann-arbor-parks-shop.