Watertown Riverfest- Something for EVERYONE! August 12-15, 2021

Published On: Thursday, August 5, 2021By Categories: Blog, General NewsTags: , , , , , , , ,

Watertown Riverfest is not your average small-town affair.  This 4-day event entertains with national headliners and regional music acts, a HUGE vendor craft fair, a HUGE (400+) classic car show, 5k and kids fun run, chainsaw art demonstrations and auction, a raft race, a large carnival, fireworks, Watertown food vendors, large beer selection including craft beers, a raffle with dozens of cash prizes, and more!   Best of all, admission to the event is FREE!  Tens of thousands attend in beautiful Riverside Park.  Several free shuttle locations are available around the city for your parking convenience.  Watertown Riverfest has something for EVERYONE!

The Entertainment

If you have heard of Watertown Riverfest, you know about the entertainment.  It is fantastic!  National acts headline, including country legends, Shenandoah in 2021.  13 bands will take the stage with music filling the air throughout the large outdoor venue.  Roving acts walk the grounds, entertaining the crowd.

Crowd at Watertown Riverfest


Rainbow Valley Rides will be back again to provide quality rides for all thrill levels!  Wristband specials are available all 4 days: Thursday from 5-9pm ($20 wristband) Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 5pm ($25 wristband).

Aerial view of rides at Watertown Riverfest

Taste of Watertown

Local restaurants set up at the park to offer you a variety you won’t find anywhere else!  Salads, wraps, tacos, mozzarella sticks, fresh sausage, pizza, cheeseburgers, ice cream, pastries, chicken wings, gyros, and many, many more items.  The hardest part is deciding what to eat!

Kid eating ice cream cone at Watertown Riverfest

Chainsaw Art

Professional chainsaw artists carve masterpieces right before your eyes.  The items are created on the grounds as you view the process.  All items are then auctioned off on the last day of the event.

Chainsaw Carvings at Watertown Riverfest

Fireworks, August 13th (Rain Date, August 14th)

One of the most spectacular fireworks in the state are here on Friday, August 13th at 10:15pm.  Rain date is Saturday.

Fireworks over carnival ride at Watertown Riverfest

The Craft Fair, August 14-15

100 vendors set up on the island of Riverside Park.  The variety of goods is outstanding!  Food items, art, home décor, hand crafted toys…the list goes on and on.

Watertown Riverfest Craft Vendors


Raft Race-Saturday, August 14 at 9:30am.

You can’t have a music fest on the beautiful Rock River without including a water event!  This one is great, and participants put just as much effort into their “look” as they do their paddling!  This is a two-person raft race on the Rock River from the Main Street bridge at Tivoli Island to Riverside Park. Life jackets are required for all participants. Trophies will be awarded! Register by the Tivoli Island bridge prior to race time. Cost is $50/team of two which includes raft, 2 oars and 2 t-shirts or $20/Kayak-Price includes 1 T-Shirt.

Raft racers at Watertown Riverfest

Riverfest 5k and Kids Fun Run, August 14th

Sign up for one of the most high-energy runs around. After crossing the finish line, let the celebration begin!  You will be on site to enjoy the music, food, drinks, carnival, and energy of the crowd.  This one is a must!

Runners at the YMCA Riverfest 5k

The Sunday Classic Car Show, August 15

This is an event in itself.  400+ cars fill the park, featuring classic automobiles, trucks and motorcycles.  It is an impressive sight!

Corvette at Watertown Riverfest Car Show


More prizes than ever! Grand Prize $5,000, 15 Prizes at $500 each, 20 Prizes at $100 each, 10 Prizes at $50 each.  Raffle tickets are $2 each.


Several tournaments take place on the grounds, including bean bags, horseshoes, and tennis.  Why not compete in a sport you love surrounded by awesome music, amazing food choices, and thousands of your closest friends?

Participants in a cornhole tournament at Watertown Riverfest

See you there!

Watertown Riverfest is unlike any “small town” festival you have ever attended.  You will be thoroughly entertained and will enjoy FREE admission, FREE parking, and FREE shuttle busses. We can’t wait to welcome you and share our community spirit!

Robin Kaufmann is the Tourism Manager for the city of Watertown. She eats, sleeps, and breathes travel in her personal and professional life. She is the voice of Watertown Tourism, and the Facebook specialist for Enjoy Jefferson County Tourism.


Sprouting Acres contest winner June 2022


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