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RiverFest is this week. Here's your event schedule

At last year’s Kids Fishing Derby, Carissa Lewandowski won the prize for the most fish caught. Kids ages 6-12 are invited to join in the fun at the RiverFest Fishing Derby from 8-10 a.m. Saturday, July 22. Photo submitted by Jacki Bradham

RiverFest: Party with a Purpose, runs July 18-23 in Hudson with many activities to encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the St. Croix River while also recognizing the need to preserve its health and beauty. Many popular events will return for the fifth annual RiverFest celebration including the St. Croix Valley Community Band Concert and Native American Celebration, while new events like the Toonies ENVIRO-FUN puppet show are added.

Events include:

Tuesday, July 18

• Volunteers are welcome to join the annual river clean-up at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 18, in Hudson. Community volunteers get out on the river bank collecting trash and work to help keep the St. Croix River clean. The trash collected during the cleanup is used by students from The Phipps' "Just Add Water" class to create a new "skin" for the Scrappy sculpture — RiverFest's mascot. Scrappy will be on display, stripped down to its armature, and will debut his new trashy "skin" at the Thursday evening band concert.

• The Pop-up Art Activity from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, at the Art Bench in Lakefront Park at Picnic Point (south end of the park) is another new event. Pop-up Art + Nature activities on the Art Bench Trail are hands-on opportunities for all ages to learn about nature, be creative and interact with a national park service ranger. Pop-up Art + Nature activities were developed through a partnership of The Phipps Center for the Arts and Belwin Conservancy in Afton, Minn.

• The river cleanup is a core activity and the "purpose" behind RiverFest.

• Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center's animals of the St. Croix Valley and Pollinators display. Stop by the Carpenter Nature Center booth on Tuesday, July 18, after the River Clean-up at 11:30 at Lakefront Park Picnic Point to learn about the many wildlife species that share our ecosystem and meet live animal ambassadors.

• Hudson Area Public Library joins RiverFest with several story times at the library. Tuesday, July 18 and Thursday, July 20 is Toddler Story Time at 10:15 a.m. At 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 18 there is Stay and Play for children ages 3-5. At 1 p.m. grade school children can listen to resource educator Aleisha Miller talking about "Who polluted the St. Croix River?" Then at 6:15 p.m. children of all ages can enjoy a night on the river with PJ Story Time.

• The City of Hudson will present the Toonies ENVIRO-FUN Puppet Show at 6:30 p.m. at the Lakefront Park Bandshell. The Toonies will bring together viewers of all ages in environmental awareness, teamwork and fun. Learn about the many ways of reducing the amount of trash we generate.

Wednesday, July 19

• At 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, July 19 naturalist Melissa Dupont will have a presentation on animals at Hudson Public Library.

• Carpenter Nature Center will host an evening prairie hike at their Wisconsin campus trail (300 E. Cove Road).

Thursday, July 20

• Stop by Carpenter Nature Center's pollinator booth on before the concert at the Hudson Bandshell.

• The St. Croix Sailing School will host an open house 2-4 p.m. at their location on the Northeast corner of First and Buckeye streets.

• Join the RiverFest celebration at a free concert at 7 p.m. at the Lakefront Park Bandshell. This musical performance features the St. Croix Valley Community Band under the direction of Kris Tjornehoj and will have a river theme. Young audience members will be invited to participate in a song or two during the concert.

Saturday, July 22

• Ragamuffin, a large raccoon personality, will appear at Hudson Public Library for a story of the animal life along the St. Croix River. More info can be found at HudsonPublicLibrary.org/Children.

• The Phipps Center for the Arts will host a Pop-up Art Activity at the Art Bench from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a hands-on opportunity to learn about nature, be creative, and interact with a National Park Service Ranger.

• The St. Croix County Sportsman's Alliance, Hudson Rod, Gun and Archery Club and other partners will sponsor a Kids Fishing Derby 8-10 a.m. on the southwest bay of Lake Mallalieu. The derby is for children ages 6-12 with prizes for all. Mentors, bait and some fishing poles will be provided.

• The St. Croix County Historical Society will host its annual Civil War Encampment and Ice Cream Social 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Octagon House Museum. Re-enactors will share stories of the life of a Civil War soldier. Enjoy an old-fashioned ice cream social fundraiser with homemade baked goods, sundaes, floats and ice cream.

Many additional activities are scheduled for the week, including a Thursday evening concert by the St. Croix Valley Community Band, a Friday evening RiverFest Nature Boat Cruise, Sunday Native American Celebration, a KakAttack Paddle

RiverFest wraps up Sunday, July 23, with an expanded Native American Celebration from noon to 4 p.m. RiverFest will close with a water ceremony to celebrate the St. Croix River.

RiverFest is made possible through the generous financial support of local sponsors and by numerous partner organizations and volunteers. A list of partners, sponsors and complete schedule of events is available at www.StCroixRiverFest.org.

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