RIVERFest 2018 – Goal Is Cleaning Up Indian River  

Area’s Largest Environmental Festival “Goes to the Dogs”


Susan Smith, 407-1406,

Marjorie Jackson, 477-2304,

Casey Shaw, 613-0411,

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - The largest environmental festival in the region on Monday goes on the road again to a new clean up area, this time Indian River. Dogs will be front and center at RIVERFest 2018 this Saturday, Oct. 6 as the non-profit Elizabeth River Project encourages “scooping the poop” to reduce bacteria and improve a current health score of “F” for the Chesapeake tributary to the Elizabeth River.


“Musical sit,” a dog-themed bounce house, “why fish don’t want poo in their river” and more will encourage good behavior for pet owners. The FREE family festival is 11 am to 4 pm and for the first time will be in Chesapeake, at 621 Sparrow Road on the grounds of St. Brides Episcopal Church off Indian River Road.


“With the momentum this festival always brings, we should be able to put Indian River on a great path to new health,” says Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, Executive Director of the Elizabeth River Project. The group started RIVERFest in 2011 on the Lafayette branch of the river. That branch is expected Monday to make top river in Virginia for oyster restoration. The festival moves to new focus area each year to build community interest where it is needed most.


The festival nonetheless remains regional and for all ages. Adults will enjoy Smartmouth’s “Princess” beer, honoring Princess Elizabeth, the river’s namesake; a native plant sale with Chesapeake Master Gardeners and the newest initiatives for River Star Homes, a free program offering assistance and a free yard flag for homeowners signing on to 7 simple steps.


A new step encourages River Star Homes to “avoid single-use plastics” because of mounting litter pollution. In return, participants Saturday will get a free re-usable stainless steel straw or re-usable water bottle. To help with a different step, discouraging geese that need to migrate but instead add to the poop problem, Wind Chazer will offer trained border collies for rent to chase geese away.


For kids, area scientists will present the “Science Dome” with live critters from Indian River along and the science of river health. The Chesapeake Mermaid will visit as part of dozens of kid’s crafts and games. A free bike valet encourages arrival by bike. Learn more at – and join the momentum for a healthy Indian River and Elizabeth River.