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Rivers, Trails and Ales: Families, kids join in annual festival fun

Families, kids join in annual festival fun

One of the most active and healthy families who attended the festival for the first time included (from left) grandparents, Patty and Earl Snider, parents, Lindsay and Jason Snider, as well as siblings Lennox, Axel and Carridy Snider. The Snider family are from Sistersville and are the founders of the West Virginia Farmacy Pilot Program, which is an organization focused on bringing health and wellness to those in our area by educating and providing essential health related resources.

The 12th annual River, Trails and Ales Festival brought locals of all ages out to engage in Marietta’s historic downtown and to encourage participants to get active in the great outdoors. Festival Director Eric Dowler spoke of the festival’s mission. He stated it was designed with the focus of offering attendees a memorable experience of celebrating an active lifestyle in a region with vast, scenic landscapes and rugged terrains waiting to be explored.

Dowler stated, that after having to put things on hold during the pandemic, event volunteers were more than ready to get back into action and bring people together to enjoy over 65 different events aimed at offering something for everyone, no matter their age or interests. From hiking to boating, to foam parties, entertainment was a hit for all ages and personality types. Due to the festivals inclusion in the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA), locals and tourists enjoyed a stroll through downtown Marietta while enjoying a drink from Wednesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Beer, wine and cocktails were permitted for consumption within the festival’s DORA boundaries. The revenue collected by any participating establishment, as well as festival vendors, ensured all proceeds go to benefit organizations such as Marietta Main Street and Marietta City Trail Fund, as well as any other funds relevant to the goals of the event.

Dowler said this year’s festival drew more families and children than any of the previous years. He remarked it was a sign of positive growth for the momentum of the festival and its intended purpose to assist our area businesses with an opportunity to establish themselves in a larger network of commerce.

The festival has a staff of over 100 volunteers who coordinated all events, and aside from the biking and hiking, also included events such as live music, boat rides and yoga. Natasha Kirby, the event’s social media coordinator, spoke about her participation in promoting the festival’s events and reflected on one in particular she enjoyed. It involved a dragon-themed boat and a drum. As practiced in East Asia, this particular therapy was designed to help individuals suffering from breast cancer to find relief through frequency healing. As the coxen beat on the bongo drum, each crew member matched the drum’s rythm to synchronize their efforts for a smooth ride on the river.

The weather is always a huge contributing factor for the festival’s turnout and it couldn’t have been more perfect for an outdoor adventure along the Ohio River. All those involved, including the volunteers and the city of Marietta and Washington County, worked together to make this year’s festival extra special and hope to continue their efforts for future festivals to keep growing and being able to give back to our community.

Husband and wife duo, Bobby and Sara Rosenstock are the individuals responsible for designing and printing the 2022 River, Trails and Ales authentic graphics depicted on the festivals merchandise. Bobby is the banjo player for his band OYO and Sara is the Professor of Graphic Design at Marietta College.

For more information regarding the festival, individuals can visit their website at www.rtafest.com and their facebook page (facebook.com/rtafest).

Maria Rutherford can be reached at mrutherford@newsandsentinel.com

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