What’s Happening at the Willamette River Festival in 2021?

Please join your community as we connect to #OurWillamette through a series of small Covid-safe group experiences throughout the week of August 21-28, 2021. Please see our calendar of events below with links to more information/registration.
MOST ACTIVITIES ARE FREE (unless otherwise noted).

August 21-28: PaddleCross Challenge – Race it or just paddle it for fun – the infamous PaddleCross at the Willamette River Festival is a wonderful experience connecting Eugene and Springfield riverfronts to the quiet backwaters of the Whilamut Natural Area, a wildlife bastion and home to the Kalapuya People of the Willamette Valley. ($5 or free for youth 18-)

August 21-28: iNaturalist Willamette River Festival BioBlitz – Starting Saturday, August 21 – Saturday, August 28 – become a Citizen Scientist and help log native species throughout the Willamette River corridor!

August 21-28: LaneArts Stormwater Art Self-Guided Tours – Enjoy a series of public art installations design by artist Alex Ever and students throughout Eugene, Springfield, and Fern Ridge, installed in various locations that will be only be displayed during the Festival!

August 21 & 22: Talking Stones Tours with Grand Ronde Tribal Elder, Marta Clifford.

August 21: WKCC Guided Urban Whitewater Adventure – Paddle from Clearwater Park to Island Park, a perfect Saturday morning float!

August 23: Native Interpretive Whilamut Canoe Tour from Eastgate Woodlands to Alton Baker Park, canoes provided, limited seating.

August 24: Trashy Tuesday on the Willamette River! Choose from a cleanup by boat with Willamette Riverkeeper on the river, cleanup by canoe with Northwest Canoe Tours, or cleanup by land in the Whilamut Natural Area with Nearby Nature!

August 24 & 26: Wastewater Treatment Plant Tours – Ever wonder what happens after you flush? Find out where your water goes and how it affects our river first hand!

August 25: Inflatable Kayak Tours will be taking place from Aspen boat ramp in Springfield to Alton Baker boat ramp in Eugene. Please see our River Recreation page for more information or call University of Oregon Outdoor Program at 541-346-4371 to reserve your trip spot. ($10)

August 25: Guided PaddleCross Challenge Tour – join a “no drop” casual-paced evening tour of the PaddleCross route!

August 25: Green Island Restoration Tours, courtesy of McKenzie River Trust – see how caring for our confluence makes for a healthier Willamette River! Register for 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. tours.

August 26: Whilamut Restoration Day is happening at two locations – register to give back to healthy riparian habitats in Eugene and Springfield!

August 26: The illihoo Native Theatre is presenting “Salmon is Everything” 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Island Park Amphitheatre. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy this rich and enlightening Indigenous cultural reading. No registration required.

August 27: Bioblitz by Canoe in the Whilamut Natural Area – Reserve a seat in a canoe, or bring your own watercraft and help log species in the riparian corridor.

August 27: McKenzie Rescue River Safety Workshop will provide a hands-on, in-river, opportunity for you to be a safe river recreationalist.

August 28: RIVERPLAY! Be sure to join us for a very special day on #OurWillamette as we conclude the Willamette River Festival with a very special day featuring river safety education and paddle demos at the beach near River House Outdoor Center, perfomances by Wisdom of the Elders and Eugene Symphony, along with Riverfront Park tours at the EWEB Plaza on the river, McKenzie Fly Fishers casting clinics, family NatureQuests (pre-reg. required) and safety-supported PaddleCross Challenge at Alton Baker Park and, at Eastgate Woodlands in Springfield, river snorkeling, whitewater park tours and more!