River Days, Renton’s summer festival, kicks off Friday
By TRACEY COMPTON
Renton Reporter Staff writer
July 26, 2012 · 1:07 PM
Renton’s huge community celebration, Renton River Days, kicks off this weekend and features live entertainment, arts and crafts and informational vendors, food, health screenings, and a circus.
The hometown extravaganza attracts thousands of visitors and Renton residents to Liberty Park, the epicenter of Renton River Days, with activities in Cedar River Park, the Renton Community Center and throughout downtown.
Window displays have been up in downtown Renton shops promoting the festival since June 22 and the city’s popular “Duck Hunt” began on that day as well.
Activities begin on Friday at Liberty Park, located at Bronson Way North and Houser Way North.
A highlight of the festival is the Renton River Days Parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, and travels down Third Street, between Rainier and Mill Avenue.
Those streets will be closed to traffic and parking from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., the conclusion of the parade.
Also this weekend, Houser Way North between Mill Avenue and Bronson Way North will be closed at 5 a.m. from Thursday to Monday, when it reopens.
Continuing this year the Salvation Army and the Art Market are hosting a “feed the people, not the ducks” campaign to collect food for Renton’s hungry.
Visitors to the three-day festival are asked to bring canned foods in support of this cause.
Last year the food drive was successful with 559 pounds of food donated from festival attendees, QFC, Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Grocery Outlet and Sam’s Club.
The Art Market has developed an interactive art piece to make giving canned food fun.
“It’s a duck and we’ll be building the body of the duck with the canned goods,” said Beverly Storey, Salvation Army’s director of social services.
The giant duck’s name is SalvArte, a take on the Salvation Army and the Art Market.
“We are the Salvation Army, we are a part of the Renton community and we do take care of the Renton community,” said Storey as to why the group is soliciting food from festival attendees. “We care about people and we care that everyone is getting adequate food.”
All of the food supports the Renton Salvation Army Rotary Food Bank.
Donations can be brought to the organization’s information booth located in Gianini Stadium in Liberty Park, near the arts and crafts vendor area.
For more information, contact the Renton Salvation Army Rotary Food Bank at 425-255-5969.
IKEA Renton River Days fun facts
Here's an interesting look at the community festival by the numbers.
• 650 volunteers - scheduled to pull off the three-day festival.
• 55 service hours - donated to River Days.
• 4,700 ducks - to float down the Cedar River in the Duck Derby.
• 90 arts and crafts vendor booths
• 40 bands / 400 performers - spread across two stages in three days.
• 70 community booths - from non-profits to social services, churches and festival sponsors
• 85 quilts - on display in the downtown Renton library
• 125 parade entries - on Saturday at 10 a.m.
• 2,500 parade participants - among group entries
• 670 ounces - amount of orange juice served at the pancake breakfast last yearContact Renton Reporter Staff writer Tracey Compton at email@example.com or 425-255-3484, ext. 5052.