RIVERDALE — Riverdale will host a massive celebration of the waterway it's named after this month.
Planned for June 24 at the College of Mount Saint Vincent Campus, the third annual Riverdale RiverFest is intended to promote and honor the Hudson.
"We hope to bring thousands of people to Riverdale for the first time, and we hope to turn our own community out big to celebrate the waterfront," said Tracy Shelton, executive director of organizer Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation (KRVC).
The event will feature boat rides on the river, a reptile show, performers, face-painting, children's crafts, nature walks and a lecture on the Hudson's history.
A stage will host a rotation of all-day musical performances, and local restaurants will provide the food.
On Thursday, Shelton and other organizers were out promoting the festival along Johnson Avenue, complete with an instrumental guitarist and a professional clown — a "sneak peek" at what to expect at the RiverFest next week.
"It's a huge event," Shelton said.
The ultimate goal is to promote a Bronx link in the Hudson River Greenway, a longtime vision of environmental groups which want to create a waterfront access path along the river, stretching from the southern tip of Manhattan all the way to Troy, NY, just north of Albany.
While other portions of the Greenway have established pathways for walking and biking along the waterfront, the Bronx is still largely cut off from use of the river.
"Right now, we don't have access to the river, but clearly people want it," Shelton said, adding that past festivals have brought out thousands of attendees.
"They show up in droves," she said.
One past attendee includes Riverdale resident and instrumental guitarist Steve Oates, who will be lending his musical talents to next week's celebration.
"I was just a civilian at RiverFest last year, but this year I'll be part of the entertainment roster," Oates said.
"The Hudson River is part of my backyard, so any celebration of the Hudson waterfront works for me."
For more information about the RiverFest, visit www.riverdaleriverfest.org.