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Scenes from Riverrock: Richmond’s Adventure Festival Returns

All photos by Dave Parrish Photography

Dominion Energy Riverrock, the lively festival that celebrates the extensive adventure opportunities in Richmond, returned to Virginia’s Capital City this past weekend. As one of the largest outdoor sports and music festivals in the United States, the event drew over 100,000 people to Brown’s Island and Tredegar Green for the 15th annual three-day party

The festival began back in 2009 as a way to highlight Richmond’s downtown riverfront and showcase the city’s excitement for outdoor recreation and music. Organized by Venture Richmond and Sports Backers, the event brings athletes, spectators, musicians, and even dogs together against the backdrop of the city’s skyline for a weekend of competitions, clinics, and big-name musical acts.

The event kicked off Friday with the Subaru Ultimate Air Dogs event, where furry friends joined the fun with a jumping contest. The day was also highlighted by the Boulder Bash, the first of many climbing events, where some of the country’s top pro climbers took on a challenging 20-foot-high bouldering cave custom built for Dominion Riverrock. That evening, Brooklyn band The National Reserve took the stage to open for headliner the Kitchen Dwellers who delivered their twist of bluegrass, folk, and rock. 

On Saturday the James River took center stage for the Kayak Boatercross and Stand Up Paddleboard Cross, where hundreds of spectators gathered on the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge to watch paddlers compete in the river adjacent to Brown’s Island in the VEPCO levy rapids. The day also featured a fishing competition, yoga sessions, gear and boat demos, and skimboarding, before headliners Sierra Hull and Neal Francis closed out the evening with energetic performances. 

Sunday started with the multi-sport Adventure Race and the Bust the Banks Half Marathon. The Downriver Paddle was the grand finale of the paddling events, bringing together kayakers, canoers, and standup paddleboarders to race down the nearly three-mile stretch of class III whitewater through downtown Richmond. To end the day, Virginia-based band 49 Winchester closed out the festival with their gritty country-rock sounds. The band is about to have a big summer on a tour with country music star Luke Combs. 

All photos by Dave Parrish Photography

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