October 16, 2013BERLIN – It's that time of year again for the return of one of New Hampshire's biggest events. The 10th annual RiverFire will take place this Saturday, October 19 at the Heritage Park on upper Main Street.
Listed as one of the state's signature events by NH Grand, RiverFire, as well as Horrorfest, has become a huge spectacle that draws thousands of people from all over every year. It has been extremely successful in the past, and the organizers are confident that this year will be as successful, and quite possibly the best year to date.
"We are expecting it to be the best one yet. We have had a lot of community support and we are very pleased with the amount of volunteers who have pitched in. We want to thank everyone for supporting us and helping to 'keep the fires going,'" said Paula Kinney of Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce who is one of the organizers of the event.
All kinds of activities are available for all ages. Coming back this year is the Bouncy House beginning at 2 P.M. to 6 P.M. at $8 per bracelet, a duck race at 2 P.M., a five kilometer run/walk beginning at 2 P.M. hayrides at $3 per person starting at 3 P.M., Remax hot air balloon rides at Horne Field starting at 3 P.M., which has a separate fee, a beer tent all day long, music all day long, face painting, Bobo T. Clown, a huge variety of food from local vendors, a children's costume parade starting at Brown School at 5 P.M., the popular petting zoo, and, of course, the mighty Horrorfest Haunted Logging Camp, which stands on its own as a signature event.
One main theme of RiverFire has been the lighting of the historical boom piers on the Androscoggin River that used to divide the logs during log drives back in the day when Brown Company Paper Mill was here. Once again, the piers will be set aflame creating a mesmerizing sight for spectators. Also, carved pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns from the public will be presented on the green walking bridge. Pumpkins can be picked up on Tuesday at the Chamber office and dropped off at the bridge at 2 P.M.
Many new features have been added this year including a pancake breakfast at 8 P.M. at St. Barnabas Church, a zombie poker run (ATV's welcomed), and a pumpkin carving and wall climbing event.
Downtown Berlin will be hosting its first "It's All About the Pumpkin" street party to kick off the RiverFire. Berlin's stores and streets will be filled with family friendly autumn and Halloween games, promotions, and food from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. leading up to the illuminated piers and pumpkins along the Androscoggin River.
"Come down to Main Street for a hearty pancake breakfast, and stay for the pumpkin carving, contests, and promotions on the new Pumpkin Trail," said Sylvia Poulin, co-founder of the Berlin Main Street program. "It's a great way to enjoy all that Berlin has to offer, and with more than 5,000 people expected for RiverFire this year, we plan to get the party started early!"
Attendees can follow the Pumpkin Trail from location to location to win a free RiverFire t-shirt, take part in pumpkin carving, win prizes for the most creative pumpkins, and adults and children ages 5 and up can test their skills on the climbing wall
"As the nights get cooler, Berlin likes to warm things up with one of the best fall festivals around," said Pam Sullivan, marketing coordinator for New Hampshire Grand, the official visitor information source for the Great North Woods and the Northern White Mountains and a co-promoter of "It's All About the Pumpkin" event. "Ride in on your ATV and catch a full day of pumpkin fun, followed by the dramatic lighting of the fires on the river. You won't forget it!"
Gates for RiverFire open at 2 P.M. with free admission to the Northern Forest Heritage Park.
New this year is a Zombie ATV Poker Run from Gorham, through the ATV trails, to downtown Berlin and up to the Northern Forest Heritage Park.
From 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. the "It's All About the Pumpkin" event will happen at the tent near Skinplicity. There will be a pumpkin carving, contests, and vendors. Also, test your skills on the Rock Climbing Wall. ATV's will need to access the tent on Main Street coming from the trail behind Big Apple. In order to stay with traffic, they will need to go south on Pleasant Street and around to Main Street. Riders will also need access to St. Barnabas. Sylvia Poulin (603-381-1520) is the lead person for the downtown event. "It's All About the Pumpkin" event is sponsored by Citizen's Bank Foundation, and Berlin Main Street Program.
In addition, anyone ready for a thrilling and spooky experience can take in the HorrorFest Haunted Logging Camp at the Heritage Park presented by the award-winning Horrorfest team. The two-acre haunted village opens at 7 p.m. At dusk, the historic boom piers that dot the river will be set ablaze.
RiverFire is presented by the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce and Berlin Main Street Program. New Hampshire Grand is helping to promote the event along with Citizen's Bank.
"Citizens Bank is supporting this event in an effort to promote small businesses in downtown Berlin, spur economic growth, and position Berlin as a destination location," said Kathleen Reardon, senior vice president and director of public affairs for Citizens Bank New Hampshire. "RiverFire, now in its 10th year, is a big event drawing visitors from all over the region to Berlin. Once here, we want to encourage them to enjoy the downtown area, celebrate all things pumpkin, and support the local businesses."
Visit www.riverfirenh.com or https://www.facebook.com/riverfire.berlinnh?fref=ts for more information.