Crowds pack downtown for Anoka Riverfest

Managing Editor
Mandy has been with ABC Newspapers since 2007, when she joined the staff as the editor of the Anoka County Union. She has been the managing editor of the UnionHerald and Blaine Spring Lake Park Life since 2014.

It was a picture-perfect day for Anoka Riverfest and Craft Fair.

A visitor inhales the scent of products made with goat’s milk at Saturday’s Anoka Riverfest and Craft Fair.
A visitor inhales the scent of products made with goat’s milk at Saturday’s Anoka Riverfest and Craft Fair.

Huge crowds turned out to shop the Riverfest booths and nearby downtown businesses on Saturday, July 8.

Estimates have 20,000 to 25,000 people attending the 19th year of Riverfest, what is likely an attendance record, said Pete Turok, president of the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the event.

“Our goal was to put Anoka and this region on the map, and I would say, mission accomplished,” Turok said.

Visitors came from all over the region and the state.

Particularly popular were booths selling jewelry, woodworking and homemade food items.

Kids also took over the sidewalk along the Rum River, below City Hall, to display all kinds of artwork as part of the Chalk Art Festival.

mandy.froemming@ecm-inc.com

More than 20,000 people attended the 19th year of Anoka Riverfest.

Shoppers scooped up all kind of handmade items at Anoka Riverfest.

Kimberly Griffin, nearly 6, works on her chalk art along the Rum River Willow (left) and Sierra Brumm showcased their artistic talents at the Chalk Art Festival hosted by the Young Artists of Anoka.
Lori Buttweiler and Sue Gagne check out the soy candles sold by Makenna Del Nature.
Max Engel and his mom, Kati, check out some artistic stone creations.

Handmade jewelry is always a favorite at Riverfest.
The Riverfest Jazz band paid tribute to its longtime leader, Tom Ward, during its performance Saturday afternoon. Ward, a well-known drummer, died earlier this year.
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The Riverfest Jazz band paid tribute to its longtime leader, Tom Ward, during its performance Saturday afternoon. Ward, a well-known drummer, died earlier this year.