Saturday + Sunday:
June 29-30, 2024


All. Day. Long.

Remember the burn.

Riverfest commemorates the burning of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge during the Civil War. On the last Sunday in June 1863, locals prevented Confederate troops from crossing the river and moving toward Harrisburg or Philadelphia by burning the longest covered bridge in the country. Confederate troops were forced to turn back and just three days later the Battle of Gettysburg erupted.

From dawn to dusk, riverfront activities will take place to celebrate the Susquehanna River’s place in America’s history; showcase our river’s recreation opportunities; and learn how to protect the river for generations to come. Events include the Bridge Burner Challenge Run & Kayak Race, Outdoor Expo, Riverfront Reenactment, Paddle the Battle Kayak Experience, Ignite Live Music Concert, & Lighting of the Bridge Piers!

Celebrate the river with us

Featured Events


Bridge Burner ChallengeThink of it as better than a 5k, easier than a Spartan Race, and more fun than sleeping in – all for a great cause in the most beautiful setting in the riverlands! Run and paddle the path of the brave men that burned the bridge and halt the Confederates! Plus a run only for our land-loving supporters.

$25+ |  9AM-12PM | Columbia Crossing, Columbia, PA



Riverfest Expo — Spectators and participants of Bridge Burner Challenge enjoy post-race festivities at Columbia Crossing. Outdoor recreation, conservation, and educational vendors will be in the park through 12 PM. 

FREE | 9AM – 12 PM | Columbia Crossing, Columbia, PA



Riverfront reenactment

Riverfront ReenactmentMeet reenactors portraying both Union and Confederate soldiers, as well as civilians. Explore camp life scenes, drill demonstrations, and artillery instruction.

FREE | 9AM – 2 PM (tentative) | Lawn at John Wright, Wrightsville, PA



Paddle The Battle

Paddle the Battle – Explore the burning of the bridge from the water! Shank’s Mare Outfitters and Historic Wrightsville have teamed up for this fun on-water experience. Paddle to the different bridge piers and follow the bridge burner’s stories up close!

FREE (tentative) | 3PM – 6PM (tentative) | Lawn at John Wright, Wrightsville, PA



Live Music

Ignite Live Music Concert – Bring a lawn chair or blanket to the lawn at John Wright Restaurant for live music and entertainment. From heritage bluegrass to funk on fire, there’s great music all evening! Food trucks as well as JWR outdoor bar will be available with food and beverages.

FREE | 3PM – 9PM | Lawn at John Wright, Wrightsville, PA



burning of the bridge EVENT

Burning of the Bridge Piers – The Riverfest finale is when three piers are set ablaze at dusk and a flame-filled show on the riverfront!

FREE | 8:45PM – 9:30PM | Lawn at John Wright, Wrightsville, PA


Follow The Fest