Mahoning Riverfest 2002

The Mahoning River Fest is a family and community event held each September in Warren, Ohio, near the banks of the Mahoning River. It is organized by the local watershed restoration group, The Mahoning River Consortium. The Festival's goal is to help the community develop a new respect for a river, which in recent history has gone through many adverse changes in this economically developing region.

 In order to achieve a new outlook and respect for the Mahoning, volunteer organizers strive to spotlight all the best our river can offer the community.  Among the free events are interpretive nature walks, aquatic life observation, historical tours, live music performing by local talent, food and drink produced by local farms, crafts, educational and interactive displays, and the festival's most popular attraction-- canoeing and kayaking.  As you can see, River Fest is a blend of appreciation of Art, History, and Nature!
By realizing that many of the festival's activities are best appreciated on a clean and healthy waterway, those who walk away from the event do so with a new impression and respect for the Mahoning River.  Spectators witness what the river should be, and what it could be throughout the watershed, even in parts heavily abused in the past.
There is much confidence among festival organizers that communities who share the Mahoning River's banks will unite to support MRC's efforts to remove contaminated sediments from portions of the river resulting  from steel manufacturing processes in the Mahoning Valley many years ago.  This is a cornerstone goal and ongoing project of the MRC.   

Come to River Fest! You will have fun and learn why a clean river is the main ingredient to economic, environmental and community quality of life in the Mahoning Valley!

Below are some photographs that capture the essence of the 2002 River Fest, held September 28.  Click on a small image to open a larger one.   If you wish to open the image in a separate browser window, do this:  PC users-- right click and select "Open Link in New Window"; Macintosh users-- click, hold it down, and the new window will appear.

Tents housed festival displays

Local historian Alex Bobersky dons time period apparel while leading historical tours

US EPA staff at the EPA Field Trailer

Local media were on the spot!

Bob Davic of the Ohio EPA discusses which types of aquatic life make for a healthy habitat and river.

Many people visited the NANFA display

A Pond Clinic and Riverlife Observation Clinic introduced many people to fishes and other aquatic life

US Marines assisted with Riverfest, and they also promoted Toys for Tots

Waiting for a canoe ride.  Straw bales made for comfortable seating.  While waiting, patrons received a presentation about canoe safety and the benefits of riparian zones.

Native fish signage was present for all to learn about darters while waiting for a canoe or kayak.

Entertainment was "Unplugged" music by local musicians

Waterfowl nesting island in the Mahoning River
Kayakers and paddlers heading upstream
A lush riparian zone surrounds the Mahoning in the heart of an urban area.

The river was high after recent heavy rains