Outdoors

The Adventure: American River Confluence Festival a boatload of fun, education

What: The 19th annual American River Confluence Festival in Auburn, with activities ranging from rafting and rock climbing to educational and art displays, and food. The festival, hosted by Protect American River Canyons, raises awareness and money for education programs and river cleanups.

When: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday for rafting, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday for the festival.

How to get there: American River Overlook Park. From Sacramento, head east on Interstate 80 and exit south on Highway 49 in Auburn. Turn right on Lincoln Way, then left on Maple Street, Auburn-Folsom Road and Pacific Avenue. Follow Pacific Avenue to the American River Overlook parking lot on the right.

The organizers say: Most of the festival's displays focus on the river's importance or the benefits of healthy lifestyles, said Eric Peach, art instructor at Roseville's Adelante High School and chairman of Protect American River Canyons.

A rapids table, for example, will illustrate how river currents are affected by rock placement and water levels.

Also at the festival will be American Indian art displays and demonstrations, musical performances that will include Grammy-winning flutist Mary Youngblood, belly dancing, and a show of fashions made from recycled materials.

"We are committed to the conservation of our cultural, historical, recreational and natural resources of the American River Canyon," Peach said. "I just like seeing the community coming together to celebrate the river."

Organizers will also spread the word on river hazards, particularly now, as the flow is high and fast-moving, Peach said.

Cost: The festival is free. Rafting is $35 general, $25 for ages 10-18. Reservations are required for rafting; call (530) 823-0931.

Information: Visit the Protect American River Canyons website, http://parc-auburn.org

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