Fabulous RiverFest 2019

RF19contestants In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
All our talented contestants together with our talented Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, OSFR board member and founder of RiverFest, and our talented president, Mike Roth. If he ever writes a song about the Santa Fe, watch out.

Wow, a huge thank you to all who came out for our 2019 fundraiser for the fun, food, foolishness and music.  And even bigger thank you to Rhonda Long and all the great volunteers that worked their buns off to make this event a huge success.

RF19Rhonda In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Rhonda Long

Rhonda had some help, but she planned it out, brought it all together and made it work.  What a great job.  When not planning RiverFest, Rhonda works as a mermaid.

 

It was evident that all had a great time, the music was great, and the rain even held off until the very end.  We hardly even missed Storm,  uh.. Storm who?..  since we had such a great M C in President Mike.  (Just kidding Storm, we did miss you, but Mike was great.)

First, the top picks, although all were super:

Bear and  Robert, first place, singing “Our Santa Fe River.”   What else?

RF19Bear1 In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Second place goes to Ricky Kendall with “Prairie Wind:”

RF19Ricky In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

And Third place was shared by our very own member Karen Mullins, singing “Our Sweet Old Santa Fe,” with Billy “Sweet William” Ennis, doing “Pirates of the Rain.”

RF19Karen In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

RF19Sweet In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

The rest of the contestants, in alphabetical order:

RF19Hamel In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
William Hamel, with “The River Santa Fe.”
RF19Hearn In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Jim Hearn and “Going to the River (letting it all hang out.)”

 

RF19Hale In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Holliane Page singing “Oh Miss Ida.”

None of this would have happened without our tireless and faithful volunteers:

RF19mike2 In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida RF19mike3 In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida RF19mike5 In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
This is our president Mike Roth, he loves to sing and it shows here.  And he works just as hard as he sings, when directing OSFR.  We have had incredible luck with our presidents.

RF19MMJ1 In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida RF19mmj2 In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Floridaj
This is Merrillee, past president and board member.  She puts in unbelievably long hours, knows everything (no satire here) and goes everywhere. She is always ready with a smile, but is dead serious when taking about water, fracking, CAFOs and such.  She founded the Song Contest nine years ago.

RF19Susan In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

This is Susan, our official webmaster (on the right.)  The world would not know much about OSFR if it were not for Susan Giles, who makes our fabulous website go ’round.

 

 

RF19doug In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Doug Jipson records the songs and helps provide the great venue

RF19Walter In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Keeping us all safe was Walter Bickmeyer working security, along with his ferocious helper Gracie “the Beast,” who keeps the bad guys in line.  Sorry, Gracie did not make the picture, perhaps she was napping in a flower patch or playing with the butterflies.

RF19cindy 1 In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Board member Cindy Noel  turns board member Terry Phelan’s face into artwork

RF19patty In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Hard working board member Patty Street also managed the silent auction.

RF19merritt andy In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Andy Phelan made the fantastic stage backdrop from John Moran’s photo, and talks here with board member Kristen Merritt, who managed the silent auction.

 

tallycleanwtrkristin In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Board member Kristin Rubin worked the ticket sales.  Kristin also knows how to put big signs up, and speaks to legislators.

RF19membershipbake 1 In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Linda Heyl with the 50-50 jar, board member Natalie Wright and volunteer Jaime Bach and Dani work the membership and bakery tables

 

RF19jandbooth 1 In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Jane Blais works hard to stop phosphate mines in Bradford County.

RF19walter3 In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Jane with Walter, but still no Gracie

 

RF9erik In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Board member Erik Wise was busy directing parking most of the day.   Gracie is finally here working, making sure all obey the rules.

 

RF19quaretet In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Added bonus:  a professional barbershop quartet with our very own President Mike entertained between contestants.  This is the “PHABULOUS PHLEGMTONES” out of Gainesville, and indeed, we thank them for coming out and sharing their great talent.  We hope to see them next year.  Not in order, these talented guys are Mike Roth, Dave Jacobs, Tyler Adams, and Rob Samuels.  Thanks for entertaining us.

RF19tammy In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Another added bonus was Tammy Greenhalgh who recited her historic poem “Holy Faith,” a translation of Santa Fe in its name given by the early Spaniards in Florida.

 

RF19pam In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Lance Scott and ex President Pam Smith work the ticket table.  Pam has devoted hours and hours of hard work to OSFR, and is one our past great presidents.

RF19rhondanew In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Danielle Shmalberg and Rhonda Long were our two live mermaids.

 

RF19trini In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Trini Johannesen of Fort White Public Schools manages the Parknership Program which teaches youngsters about the environment.

 

RF19bambi In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Bambi’s Organic Farm provided great food.

 

RF19Stew In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Stew Lilker, of the Columbia County Observer, signs the phosphate mine petition.
RF19moran In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
As does John Moran, nature photographer who did the famous turtle photo on the stage backdrop.
RF19dave In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Dave Smith and MaryAnn his wife behind him are volunteers supporting OSFR. On the right is volunteer Sharon Yeago, hard at work restocking the kitchen.

 

RF19billiejo bob In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Faithful volunteer Billie Jo Benedict, OSFR Advisor Bob Knight, and Hilda Gilchrist, all lovers of the Santa Fe.

RF19sana In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Sanna Saare works at the food counter.

 

RFdsareah In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Happy RiverFest celebrants Sarah Younger, on far right, who is very active in Sierra Club and works on many environmental projects. Along with Mo Fairchild, Bernie Reller and Delaney Mayo.
RF19crowd In: Fabulous RiverFest 2019 | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
What better way to spend a beautiful afternoon near the river?

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-


1 Comment

  1. What a great summary of a great day, you are so appreciated Jim Tatum. Where are YOU in these photos ? With Gracie I guess !! LOL

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