Saturday + Sunday:
June 23-25, 2023


Spend the Weekend at the River!

Riverfest Schedule

Riverfest Trolley Tours 

Explore our history on a trolley tour during Riverfest! On Saturday, June 25th the tour will take you around Columbia. Learn about the important Underground Railroad heritage of the town and how the residents and Union home guard prepared to defend the bridge. Come on back on Sunday, June 26th to have a trolley tour of Wrightsville and learn about the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania and the battle for Wrightsville. Tours start at Columbia Crossing River Trails Center. 

June 25 & 26 from 11 AM – 5 PM

Bridge Burners. Who Were They?

Meet the five men that lit the fuse in a walking tour of Mount Bethel Cemetery. Learn about their lives and why they were chosen for a such a dangerous and important job. Tour is $5 per person. Online pre-registration is available. Cash only on the day of the tour. 

June 24 & 25 at 6 PM

June 26 at 11 AM

Riverstown Fourth Friday!

Across Marietta, Columbia, and Wrightsville, our restaurants and businesses will be open late celebrating kick off to Riverfest weekend. Find flaming hot deals and firey dinner options!

Bridge Burner Challenge Run & Paddle Race
A fun multi-sport race commemorating the burning of the world’s longest covered bridge in 1863. Race starts 9 AM sharp! Spectators can watch paddle section from Columbia River Park. 

9 AM – 11 AM at Columbia River Park

River Expo 
Meet outfitters and learn about river history and health at the River Expo. The expo is planned in conjunction with the Bridge Burner Challenge. Our goal is to showcase the Lower Susquehanna River region’s vast recreational opportunities in Lancaster & York Counties.

9 AM – 12 PM at Columbia River Park

The Man Who Stopped General Lee: Colonel Frink and His Defense of Wrightsville and Columbia
Join us at Columbia Crossing River Trails Center for a lecture from Cindy Beaston on the Union’s defense of the Susquehanna River’s most important bridge crossing. Cindy is a Columbia native and Gettysburg tour guide. She is currently writing a book about Civil War soldiers from Columbia. 

12 PM at Columbia Crossing River Trails Center

On the Double Quick: Marching from Wrightsville into History
Join us at Columbia Crossing River Trails Center for a lecture from Cindy Beaston in Wrightsville after the burning of the bridge and the Confederate movements that led to the Battle of Gettysburg. Cindy is a Columbia native and Gettysburg tour guide. She is currently writing a book about Civil War soldiers from Columbia. 

2 PM at Columbia Crossing River Trails Center

Bridging the Susquehanna: River Walk
Enjoy an easy walk through Columbia River Park to learn about all six bridges that have crossed the Susquehanna River between Columbia and Wrightsville. Have an up-close look at the historic piers that held the wooden covered bridge that was burned in the Civil War.

1 PM & 3 PM at Columbia Crossing River Trails Cente

Civil War Reenactors
Meet and interact with members of the 45th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Company K. Visit their camp to learn about Civil War life including the Homefront and battlefield. 

11 AM – 5 PM at Wrightsville Commons Park 

NW River Trail Geology Walk with Jeri Jones 

Join geologist Jeri Jones for a River Trail Walk & Talk on Sunday, June 26th at 12 PM. Explore the river geology between Columbia and the St. Charles Furnace along the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. This easy, flat walk is about 1 mile out and back.

12 PM at Columbia Crossing River Trails Center

Paddle the Battle Kayak Tours 
Susquehanna NHA and Shank’s Mare Outfitters have teamed up for this fun on-water experience. Get on the water at John Wright Restaurant and paddle out to the historic bridge piers. Learn about the battle for the bridge and bridge burner’s stories up close! A great, short trip for first-time, novice paddlers, and history buffs! Sign up today! $10 per person. Participants must be 12 years or older. Those ages 12 – 17 must be on the water with a parent/guardian. All participants will need to sign a waiver before going on the tour.

2 PM, 3 PM & 4 PM at John Wright Restaurant Lawn

Lecture on the Lawn

York County Historian Jim McClure will present a lecture on the Underground Railroad relationship with the Susquehanna River. Learn about the path to freedom through York County across the Susquehanna River and beyond Lancaster County. He will also talk about the Mifflin Farm – a nearby farmstead recently saved from demolition to be preserved as a public heritage site. 

4 PM at the John Wright Restaurant Lawn

Ignite Concert!

Bring a lawn chair or blanket to the lawn at John Wright Restaurant! The Part-Time Managers will be on stage playing classic folk and Americana as the sun sets over Wrightsville. During their intermission, Ridiculous Nicholas will light up the stage with a fire juggling show. 

5 PM – 9 PM at John Wright Restaurant Lawn

Lighting of the Bridge Piers

In commemorations of the brave acts of June 28, 1863, three historic bridge piers will be lit ablaze. As the fires are lit, Historic Wrightsville Incorporate will share the story of the burning of the bridge. 

9 PM at John Wright Restaurant Lawn

sponsor name

Our Heritage Host are the great organizations that benefit from this festival. Preserving heritage sites, sharing the stories of the past, and connecting people to the river.

Let's do this!

Register Online Now!

See you at the Bridge! #RiverfestPA

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