River Ruckus,RAM visitors enjoy free boat rides in the St. Johns courtesy of Freedom Boat Club

Eat and Party for the River

Supporting the river isn’t always about labor intensive things such as  attending trash pick-ups with the Riverkeeper or conscious decisions such as opting not use fertilizer and xeriscaping your yard. All those things help, but sometimes, supporting the river means having a very good time. If you love the St. Johns River and the surrounding wetlands, here are a few events you’ll want to watch for on an annual basis.

Mark your calendars next month for the annual Riverkeepers Oyster Roast on November 13th. It’s become known as one of the best celebrations of the year. If you want to support our river, dine on oysters, enjoy entertainment, and have a great time, this is the event you’ll want to buy tickets for. Tickets are $125 per person or just $75 if you are 35 years of age or younger. For a younger person looking to network, this a great party to attend, at a lower price-tag. Fundraising from this event goes to support education and outreach for the Riverkeeper. See www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org/how-to-help/2015-oyster-roast/ for more information on how to buy.

Bands, beer, vendors, kids zone and admission to a boat show are all included at The Oyster Jam Music Festival. It’s a cool family-friendly fest you should be watching for in the spring. Events celebrate everything to do with the water and there’s a great oyster cook-off as well. See their website for last year’s line-up and all the activities at the fest. http://theoysterjammusicfestival.com/

In the Summer you’ll want to watch for the North Florida Land Trust’s Annual Fish Fry. It’s a cheaper alternative to the Oyster Roast and a bit more focused on outdoor activities. Last year it was just $15, including food, entertainment, and a guided hike. Rent a kayak for a little extra, and you can enjoy the sunset guided paddle as well. It was on Big Talbot last year.

You’ve just missed the River Ruckus last month, but don’t worry, you can plan ahead for next year. This year was the third, and it featured activities on the river and events such as Stand Up Paddle boarding lessons, raffles, kayaking, a dragon boat race, craft beer from SweetWater Brewing Company, and more. Search River Ruckus on facebook to learn more and look for it next fall.

About Erin Thursby