This year marked the return of the Groton Greenway River Festival! Nice weather and a good turnout were instrumental in making this free event a great success. More than 500 people, mostly young families, gathered at the town-owned three-acre Petapawag Canoe Launch site along the Nashua River to celebrate this wonderful historic and recreational resource. Attendees were entertained by musicians, jugglers, Native American dancers and drummers and several interactive exhibits. Participatory activities included arts and crafts, cardboard canoe racing and free padding on the Nashua River. Many people joined the guided boat tour upstream to view Fitch's Bridge, which is being considered for replacement. Food was available for purchase and water was dispensed for free.
The River Festival Committee is indebted to those who through their contributions make this festival possible and free to the public. Thanks to our benefactors: Town of Groton Commissioners of Trust Funds Lecture Fund, Hollingsworth and Vose, and an anonymous benefactor. Thanks to our patrons: Murphy Insurance Agency, DRC Trading, Groton Market, MRM Realty, and Bemis Associates. And thanks to our sponsors: Groton Veterinary Hospital, Blackbird Cafe, and Moison ACE Hardware.
The festival was also made possible due to those who contributed their goods and services. Ducks Unlimited provided boat rides to Fitch's Bridge. AdventuRides led a bike ride, Open Studio led kids' yoga, and Buckingham Bus provided shuttle service. Marty Bowley at Groton School provided tables and chairs, Groton Wellness employees volunteered to provide access to food, Hunter Appliance & Riverbend and Bemis Associates donated cardboard for canoe race, and Deluxe For Business provided parking. The NRWA provided meeting space and the Groton Conservation Commission enabled us to use the Petapawag site which they maintain so well for so many. West Groton Water Supply donated refillable water bottles. Lucas Moisson Music provided the sound system for performers Pebbled Bottom River Kids, Snow Crow and Friends, and Native American Drumming by UNACC. Becky Carson provided design services for all publicity. Nashoba Paddler, LLC and its employees donated free canoeing and introduced many to canoeing for their first time.
We would like to thank our many engaging exhibitors. Exhibits included Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Mark Salwasser paddle carving, Michael Veit on native bees, Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife, The Groton Trails Committee, The Squannacook River Rail Trail Committee, Pam Gilfillan of the Nashua River Watershed Association, Groton Local, and the Groton Conservation Trust. Katharine Bell, Beth VanGelder, Kim Duhamel, Stacey Low, Heather Barros, Joni Parker-Roach, Catherine Karp organized creative nature crafts. Patrick Parker-Roach and Dimitri Tripodakis juggled.
Our volunteers were amazing and thanks go to many, including: Gregg Baker, Arianna Barker, Brenda Barker, Dennis Conlon, Laura Donovan, Jared LaFosse-Baker, Josh and Moriah, Christopher Marsh, Nick Marsh, Bronwyn Mulligan, Karen Tucker Mulligan, Lisa Murray, Gayle O'Brien, Deborah and Ed O'Rourke, Jim Peregoy, Carolyn and Ed Perkins. (Apologies for any inadvertent omissions in these lists).
Finally, thank you to all who came and participated!
GROTON GREENWAY AND RIVER FESTIVAL COMMITTEES:
Pete Carson (chairman), Diane Carson, Adam Burnett, Carol Coutrier, Bobbi Lamont, David Manugian, George Moore, Russ Murray, David Pitkin, Celia Silinonte, Fran Stanley, Marion Stoddart, and Lisa Wiesner