River Town Days starts Friday

Published 6:29 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Come out to the Earle May Boat Basin for River Town Days this Saturday, and you might see kids in paddle boats, sliding on water slides, soaring through the air on a zip line or climbing up a giant rock wall.

River Town Days, presented by the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce, kicks off Friday, with dozens of rummage and specialty vendors setting up starting at 10 a.m.

Later on Friday, a free concert at the Performing Arts Stage will begin at 6:30 p.m., with classic cars on display prior to the concert. Opening act Traveller will play a variety of favorite songs, while a national touring band — the Dirty Guv’nahs — will perform their uniquely-styled mix of roots rock, soul and alternative country music. A fireworks show will follow the concert.

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On Saturday morning, the festival will get an early start when the Great River Rummage Sale and specialty vendor booths open up at 8 a.m.

The kids’ rides are better than ever and will get going at 10 a.m. Saturday. Due to popular demand, the fun rides and activities will last all day, until 5 p.m. Unlimited-ride armbands cost $10 and will let children enjoy all of the fun.

Armband rides include a zip line, a trip aboard the pirate ship, catching a fish at the trout fishing pond, the Spider Mountain bungee experience, the Wrecking Ball, a Water Roller ride and new this year, paddle boats.

The Water Roller ride, which debuted in 2011, lets kids “walk on water” inside a plastic rolling “donut.” The new Wrecking Ball ride seats up to 12 young passengers, who get to experience being spun around and rocking back and forth, higher and higher into the air, inside an open-seated “ship.”

For the first time ever, there will also be rides that let kids get wet — including a mega twister slide, a wild tunnel double water slide and a 20-foot wet slide — so kids may want to bring along a bathing suit and change of clothes.

Past favorite rides will be there as well, including the rock climbing wall, mechanical bull ride, bounce houses, obstacle course, an inflatable “boxing arena,” a fun 18-feet-long slide, an obstacle course, a petting zoo and pony rides.

Throughout the day, the Performing Arts Center will showcase local talent.

Murkerson’s Dance Academy and Cheer Gym will perform at 10 a.m., the Goju Karate School will show off their skills at 11 a.m. and Lucretia’s School of Dance will perform at noon.

The Michael Miller Band, a young up-and-coming country band from Tallahassee, Fla., will take the stage at 1 p.m.

The Great Steak Cookoff will start at 11 a.m., with judging at 2 p.m. The Decatur Grays will also be presenting historic Civil War re-enactments in the Boat Basin.
The Hydrilla Gnats, a Lake Seminole fishing club, will host a kids’ casting contest.

Home Depot, Stone’s and the Decatur County-Gilbert H. Gragg Library will have stations set up at which kids can do crafting activities.