Riverfest 2012 – Things to Do in Bonita Springs Fl

Autumn has arrived in Bonita Springs as planning for the 6th annual RiverFest gets underway. Hosted by the City of Bonita Springs, the two-day downtown event will kick-off on Oct. 26 with a happy hour celebration, live entertainment from the Rachel/Hughes Band, a cornhole tournament and the popular fish fry from 5 to 9 p.m. The festivities continue on Oct. 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the traditional Imperial River Challenge featuring canoe, kayak, K-1, surf ski and stand up paddleboard races, and the children’s rubber duck race. New this year will be the addition of autumn themed activities for children and adults including a pumpkin decorating contest, hayrides, a petting zoo and a pumpkin patch.

The petting zoo will include goats, sheep, a miniature donkey, a miniature horse and a baby llama. Children can enjoy free pony rides, free hayrides and a chance to pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.

For the first time, there will be a haunted walk presented by Pumpkin King Productions, Bonita Estero Association of Realtors and Bonita Springs Assistance Office. The haunted walk will be open Oct. 27 to Oct. 31, 6-9 p.m. at Depot Park behind Riverside Park in downtown Bonita Springs.

In keeping with RiverFest’s mission of eco-tourism and sustainability, local vendors will provide displays and demonstrations geared toward the environment. Those involved to date include Turtle Time, Bonita Nature Place, Kowiachobee Animal Preserve, Trifecta Construction Solutions, YMCA, Lions Club and Lee County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit, Royal Scoop, Russell’s Clambakes and Calusa Ghost Tours. Water safety demonstrations, information from the Lee County Parks and Recreations “Blueway Mobile,” and tours of the historic Liles Hotel will be offered. The Artist Cottages will be open.

Proceeds from RiverFest will benefit the Waterways Conservation Fund, Bonita Springs Assistance Office and Bonita Nature Place. RiverFest will also serve as the official launch of the 2012 Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival.

Tickets for the fish fry are available at City Hall in Bonita Springs. To register for the Imperial River Challenge, “adopt” a duck or for more information about RiverFest, contact the City of Bonita Springs 239.949.6262 or visit www.CityofBonitaSprings.org.

About RiverFest: This will be the first year that the City of Bonita Springs has hosted RiverFest. The celebration is from 5 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 26 and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 27 at the Liles Hotel Plaza near the Imperial River at Riverside Park in the historic, downtown district of Bonita Springs on Old U.S. 41 and Pennsylvania Avenue. Admission to Riverfest is free to the entire community. Food and beverages will be available for purchase with proceeds donated to local area charities.

For more information, visit www.cityofbonitasprings.org or call (239) 949-6262.