Rivers, Trails and Ales seeking volunteers

Sixty events, new rides and expansion are all in the works for August’s ninth annual River, Trails and Ales Festival in Marietta, and the coordinators are looking for more community volunteers to help put it all in place.

“Right now we’re still in development but there’s potentially going to be a new gravel (bike) ride, the outdoor beer fest was so popular last year that we’re expanding that and we’ll also be expanding the kid events on Saturday,” said Rivers, Trails and Ales Director Eric Dowler.

With less than four months until RTA fills the local trails with wheels and rivers with paddlers during the second weekend in August, Dowler said now is the time to partner with the festival as a restaurant, or offer to volunteer.

“Right now we’re in need of volunteer coordinators for the hiking and paddling events, especially if someone is interested in leading a guided hike or paddling along with some of our paddle events, or even just to help with registration and head counts at those events,” he said. “Things like our lock-thru paddle are so popular that having some more event volunteers there to take liability waivers and count how many launch from Lowell is crucial.”

Coming to this year’s RTA is an expansion of family-friendly and child-geared events.

“The gnome hike was so cool last year,” said Hallie Taylor, a co-founder of the event and co-owner of Marietta Adventure Company. “And I love seeing families out on a ride together or at the bike rodeo.”

Taylor said even this time of the year she talks with shop visitors about how they were first exposed to the adventure opportunities in the Mid-Ohio Valley through the festival.

“To me, the town comes alive that weekend, and one of the things I look forward to most is seeing a bunch of people come to Marietta to be outdoors,” she said. “That week you start seeing cars roll into town with kayaks strapped to the roof and carrying bikes, that’s cool.”

Dowler said the festival’s restaurant sponsor coordinator Jeremy Stackpole is also looking to build up the restaurant partnerships this year to feature more Southeast Ohio breweries.

“We want to not only to get them more exposed in the local restaurants on tap but also to get more variety downtown for the entire year,” Dowler continued. “We’re always looking for more sponsors. The cut-off is June 30 and if anyone is interested in partnering, restaurant sponsorship or to volunteer just shoot us an email.”

The festival organizers can be reached at RTAfest@gmail.com.

If you go:

• The ninth annual Rivers, Trails and Ales festival is scheduled for Aug. 8-11.

• Sponsorships and volunteers are still needed for the event.

• Contact organizers at RTAfest@gmail.com for more information and to get involved.

Source: Eric Dowler.


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