[Every year the Narrowsburg hosts "Riverfest", a celebration of
the area's arts and environment. The 2005 event was be held on July 24]
Sky is no limit for Riverfest 
By CHARLIE BUTERBAUGH
For the fifteenth year the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) set the stage for the mother of all festivals celebrating the Upper Delaware arts community.
An event that nurtures, and in turn thrives on the people whove decided to live and create in this bucolic region, Riverfest drew thousands to Narrowsburgs Main Street on July 24. This years festival featured 41 artists and craftspeople as well as a local authors booth and readings by local poets, both firsts for the event.
By 10:00 a.m., the Inner Urge Jazz Ensemble was souping up this stones throw hamlet with live music, and in the afternoon, Bob Goldring and members of The Linemen took the stage to play bluegrass.
Setting a new record, 76 posters portraying impressions of summer life on the river were donated for the annual auction that benefits DVAAs future as the arts council for Sullivan County.
People who never come into the gallery come to look at the posters. Something about it intrigues them, said DVAA Executive Director Elaine Giguere. Ive always thought of it as a democratization of the arts. A jury selects the vendors who line the streets at the festival, but anyone can create and donate a poster.
Ask the vendors about Riverfest, and most will tell you that wild horses couldnt drag them away.
We do extremely well here. We would not miss this show, said Clem Fullerton of this celebration of art, music and ecology. Together with Lew Trombridge, Fullerton led a fly-tying demonstration for the Upper Delaware chapter of Trout Unlimited. Trombridge said Riverfest gives Trout Unlimited an opportunity to show people how important it is to protect the Upper Delaware fishery.
Standing on the interstate bridge over the Delaware, author and actor Malachy McCourt said, Something is quite extraordinary about the river here. They call it Narrowsburg, but its really much broader than that. McCourt, who lives part-time in Milanville, PA, was raised in Limerick, Ireland. He is the author of Bush Lies in State.
Whats interesting is the warmth with which people greet each other, McCourt said. He noted the numerous galleries on Main Street. And yet theres no sense of snobbery here.
Geoffrey Dahlberg of Callicoon, NY said of the festival: This one achieves what it sets out to do. His wife, Georgia Chambers, presented a collection of pictures that she produces through printmaking, watercolor and acrylic painting.
Chambers said: You never know who youre going to meet or what youre going to sell. This was her 13th year at the festival.
I think its a celebration of the people. Its positive and supportive. Everyones really friendly and encouraging, said Kim Lust, who fires her stoneware pottery in her studio in Glen Spey, NY.
Its about celebrating community, old-fashioned style, said Naomi Hurst, a fiber artist from Bloomingburg, NY.
Vendors traveled to the festival from as far away as New Paltz and Middletown, NY. Giguere said: One of the reasons the artists participate is because weve helped to build an audience for them.
This years poster auction generated $9,000 for DVAAs visual arts program, perhaps an indicator of the arts economys growing strength in the river valley.
When you can raise $9,000 on the street selling art, its a good sign, Giguere said. The poster sale generated $1,200 in its first year.
Jill Wiener of Earthgirl Pottery, who keeps a shop in her barn in Jeffersonville, NY, said, I think its [the economy] getting much better. I know Id rather shop locally and let the money re-circulate locally.
Stanley Harper of Narrowsburg Fine Wines and Spirits on Main Street said, I think its a real moment of coming together. I really do love it.
DVAAs role as the countys arts council entails administering state and county grants, providing technical assistance to other non-profits, and lobbying for the areas arts community at the state, county and local levels.
For more information call 845/252-7576 or visit ArtsAllianceSite.org
Riverfest reigns supreme 
By RICHARD A. ROSS
NARROWSBURG, NY Simply put, this years Riverfest was magical and enticing. Unique in its own right, the festival that celebrated its 14th anniversary delighted a huge crowd with a mix of art, music and ecology.
Of prime interest to many of the visitors to the quaint hamlet on the Delaware River was the poster auction sponsored by the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance. Each year the proceeds from the auction are used to fund the arts alliances visual arts program that includes the student gallery, the loft gallery and the main gallery. This years auction featured 88 posters and raised $13,445. The incomparable Pamela Moore Epstein conducted the auction.
The street was lined with local artists, photographers and craftspeople marketing their handiwork while music from Carl Dietzs Inner Urge Band filled the air with joyful sounds.
At the gazebo along the banks of the river, the Upper Delaware Valley Visioning Committee polled visitors about key issues outlined by residents during community meetings, including protecting the land, water and air quality and private property rights, preserving the areas rural character and encouraging long term stewardship of the land based on science. On Main Street, Randy Stechert discussed local endangered species and threatened herpetofauna. The Delaware-Highlands Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, The Eagle Institute, the Upper Delaware Council, the National Parks Service and the Master Gardeners of Sullivan County, also advanced ecological awareness.
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