Downtown Riverfest returns to the banks of the Big Sioux River

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Downtown Sioux Falls is set to host a party Saturday along the Big Sioux River.

Downtown Riverfest isn’t your average celebration.

“There’s not another event like this that has live music that’s right on the river, but also engaging on both sides of the riverbank and all under the Arc of Dreams, so it’s just such a unique event and it’s one of the largest events that happens in downtown Sioux Falls,” DTSF Community Outreach Coordinator Sadie Swier said.

This weekend’s music lineup features some high-energy bands ranging from reggae to rock. Swier expects a big crowd as Riverfest has grown alongside downtown Sioux Falls.

“With Cherapa Place, the Raven parking lot, even the Arc of Dreams a couple years ago, we saw a huge increase in numbers, but just the attention that’s going on in Uptown has also brought people and we’re hoping for a huge turnout, especially after canceling last year and even having to cut off our event early in 2019 because of a storm. We want to see at least 20,000 people,” Swier said.

Riverfest also includes an activity tent for kids with face painting, scavenger hunts, and a mobile aquarium.

“We have a mobile sea bus that’s actually shaped like a school bus, it’s really cool, and people actually have the opportunity to come up and they get to put their hands into the water and they get to touch and feel some really cool sea animals and hopefully get to learn a little bit more about them,” Butterfly House & Aquarium Educator Mack Stamper said.

The Butterfly House & Aquarium also uses the exhibit to teach people about the importance of the Big Sioux River.

“Here in South Dakota that is our connection to the sea and to the ocean so we want to teach people that’s it’s important not to throw trash in the river, it’s important to keep it clean,” Stamper said.

Bringing a little education to this downtown party.

“It’s really just fun for all ages. We want to see this be a huge family event right at the beginning, but also turn into a party by the end of it too,” Swier said.

Riverfest is still in need of volunteers. Click HERE for volunteer information and a complete schedule of events.

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