Saturday, August 6, 2011

#213: On the River

Ever wish you lived in South Beach instead of South Bend?  Well, for one weekend a year, on an unused plot overlooking downtown, On the River brings the beach to the Bend.  This event, begun in 2008, is a fundraiser for the Center for the Homeless and has grown into one of the biggest summer festivals in the city.
As opposed to many events, which tend to be either family-oriented or beer tent-oriented (and not even trying with the hard-to-please teen crowd), the multiple nights of On the River allows everyone* to enjoy the novelty of a sand beach and palm trees in DTSB.  Each night features a  DJ and live music, volleyball and cornhole, and tropical drinks and food, although on Teen night, the daiquiris are virgin and "Freaky Tiki Punch" is not available.  Family Day on Saturday afternoon gives kids the chance to build sand castles and enjoy a variety of carnival activities in an alcohol-free environment... more than you can say for most beaches on Lake Michigan.  Tonight's 21+ Beach Bash kicks off in only a few hours, and get your crew there early for the volleyball or cornhole tournament (3:00 and 5:30 pm start, respectively).
21+ Beach Bash
New this year was In the River, an organized group paddle of the St. Joe Saturday morning.  Organizers were aiming to get 200 boats out on the river.  Look for the follow-up to see if they made their goal!
When: Friday, August 5, 6:00-11:00 pm (Teen Night); Saturday, August 6, 11:00 am-3:00pm (Family Day), 3:00-11:00pm (Beach Bash)
Where: near Colfax Ave. Bridge on the east side of the St. Joe River, across from the Century Center
For tickets, to register for the tournaments, and for more information about parking and what to bring, visit

*Except for Senior night.  Perhaps it's the heat, the skill needed to maneuver on sand, or the loud music, but it would be great to welcome South Bend's eldest out to enjoy the beach!

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