Boonesborough River Blast

Swing Sreet Photo

Swing Street And Dublove Reggae Band Headline Schedule at River Blast

LEXINGTON, Kentucky—It’s going to be a blast down on the Kentucky River when Swing Street, performing the greatest dance hits from the past and present,and the reggae sounds of Dublove headline the second annual festival called River Blast, presented by Kentucky American Water,  at Fort Boonesborough State Park Saturday August 1 from Noon – 10 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public, however there is a $5 donation  per carload for parking.

Organized by the Kentucky River Water Trail Alliance and benefiting Bluegrass Tomorrow and the Kentucky Riverkeeper.  River Blast will include the “blast” component a spectacular Fireworks show, presented by Stantec at 9:30 p.m., “Water Fire” a bonfire on the Boonesborough Beach beginning at 6 p.m., and live entertainment all day.

The goal of the event is to create major public awareness of the Kentucky River resource, and watershed, and the Kentucky River Water Trail Alliance.  The Alliance has been working with the National Park Service Rivers, Trails Conservation Assistance Program over the last several years to create more access to the river, developing “Blueway” water trails.  Recently the Alliance has had much success developing “portages” around the dams on the river, or safe trails to carry canoes and kayaks around dams.

“We also want to celebrate our river resource like many other communities do,” said Clare Sipple, who is chairing the event.   “River Blast gives us the opportunity to bring the public back to the river at a site, the Ft. Boonesborough Beach, where thousands flocked to enjoy the water in the 60s, 70s and 80s before it closed.   We want to create that kind of enthusiasm for river recreation again.   This is a great regional celebration of the river for Fayette, Clark and Madison Counties.”

The high energy 6-member Swing Street band, whose motto is “Dance ’til Ya can’t Dance No Mo”, features 4 distinctively different lead vocalists and outstanding musicians who have as much fun as the audience. The greatest dance hits from the past and present plus an enthusiastic stage performance makes the Swing Street show unique.

The event also features food trucks, arts & crafts, inflatables for the kids, water/resource educational exhibits and fun for the whole family.   Families are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.

The River Blast Schedule of Events:

8:00 a.m.                            21 mile paddling race from Boonesborough to Valley View “Race Between the Locks.”

Noon                                  Official Opening of River Blast at Shelter #1 at the Boonesborough Beach

Ice Man’s “Cruise In” Car Show

6-mile paddling race from Boonesborough to Clays Ferry

All Concessions, Food Vendors, Exhibits, Inflatables, Kids Activities, Arts & Crafts & Open

Entertainment at main stage begins featuring Mike Archer Duo

3:00-5:00 p.m.                    Bent Penny Band performs

6:00 p.m.                             “Water Fire” Bon-Fire on the Boonesborough Beach

5:30 – 7:30  p.m.                 Dublove Reggae Band performs.

7:30 – 9:30 p.m.                 Swing Street Band performs

9:30  p.m.                            Fireworks Spectacular


Location and Date: River Blast Ft. Boonesborough, August 1

River Blast is back with two events this year…. River Blast Frankfort on June 27 and River Blast Boonesborough on August 1. Last year, the inaugural River Blast event in August, presented by Kentucky American Water and in partnership with the Kentucky River Water Trail Alliance, exceeded all expectations.

Modeled after the Providence RI “Water Fire” arts festival events held throughout the summer months on the riverfront, River Blast was designed to bring the masses to the Kentucky River To celebrate and understand the resource.

And wow did they come, approximately 5,000 in attendance, to enjoy music, entertainment, food, arts & crafts, educational exhibits related to the river, a beer garden, canoe and kayak races, a bonefire on the Boonesborough Beach, and fireworks at the end of the evening. And it will all happen again on August 1 at Boonesborough with several new additions to the event, including a “sprint” to Halls by canoe & kayak, beach volleyball, and other beach fun.

This year’s Frankfort River Blast at Riverview Park will celebrate the opening of the locks at the dams from Frankfort all the way to the Ohio River, which will allow boat traffic through that entire stretch of the river for the first time in decades.   The Frankfort River Blast will also include a laser lights show at the end of the evening, and the featured band will be Conch Republic.

Future Years: Event will be moved from year to year to the different river cities and key access points including: Frankfort, Irvine, Boonesborough, Jessamine (Sugar Creek), Mercer, Owenton etc. River Blast could even be held in different locations simultaneously in future years. This is a great first-year opportunity for sponsors.

Register Now for Paddling Events!
Email address

Printable “Race Between the Locks” registration form

Adult Race Waiver Form (Must be on file for all race participants)

Minor Race Waiver Form (Must be on file for all race participants)


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