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When the carnival comes to town

St. Helens River Festival brings carnival rides, live music, beer garden and family festivities to waterfront


SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Davis Amusement employees set up a water racing game on Wednesday, June 15, that will be available to play at the carnival. Visitors will be able to enjoy more than 15 rides and carnival games this weekend. In an effort to revive a former summertime carnival tradition, the St. Helens Kiwanis will host the The St. Helens River Festival this weekend. Attendees will have the chance to go on carnival rides, listen to live music, enjoy a beer garden and participate in a street dance and musical performances, held June 16-18 on the St. Helens waterfront near Strand Street.

The River Festival, which is a fundraiser event for the Kiwanis club, is intended to be a fun, family-friendly event for community members to kick off the summer months in St. Helens.

“We wanted to bring back the community flavor of Port-O-Fun and RiverFest,” event chairman John Brewington stated in a press release. “The Kiwanis were already doing a parade and we’re adding the carnival, street vendors, and beer garden with street dances. If it works well, we’ll try and expand it in future years.”

On Saturday, June 18, the Kiwanis club will also host its annual community parade at noon. The parade route starts at Emmert Motors, 2175 Columbia Blvd., and will end on 1st Street in downtown St. Helens.

Columbia River Fire and Rescue Fire Chief Jay Tappan will serve as the parade grand marshal. Those wishing to enter the parade can register for free from 9 to 11 a.m. at Emmert Motors on Saturday.

This year’s theme will be “Celebrate Healthy Living.”

If you go

Carnival (June 17 and 18)

The carnival hosted by Davis Amusement will open at 11 a.m. and run until midnight on Friday and Saturday. The rides are set up on the former Boise property by the waterfront on Strand Street. Entry to the carnival is free, but tickets must be purchased to go on rides.

Stevi Marie and Jackson Road (June 17)

On Friday, Stevi Marie and Jackson Road will perform live and a street dance will be held for those wishing to attend.

The Wieners (June 18)

On Saturday, June 18, a second street dance and musical performance by classic-rock group The Wieners will be held at 8 p.m.

Beer Garden (June 17 and 18)

A beer-garden will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with no cover charge. During the concerts visitors to the beer garden will pay a $5 cover charge.