RiverFest 2018

Happy crowd. Judges at table far right; Carol Velasques Richardson, Rob Aycox, Russ Augspurg

Seven great songs about the Santa Fe River were presented to the audience at Rum 138 at RiverFest 18 on a beautiful March day southwest of Fort White, Columbia County, Florida.  The music just gets better every year, and our sponsors list longer and longer.  Thanks to all of them, without which we would have no RiverFest.  And of course a huge thanks to our contestants, all of whom were indeed winners.  But the judges said the money should go to young Cliff Dorsey for his “Santa Fe Song,” beautifully rendered.

Past OSFR President Pam Smith made RiverFest happen


Sharon Yeago was the brains behind the planning

While we are talking about “thanks,” many go to all the volunteers, many of whom are pictured here, and apologies for those who escaped the camera.  This year, as those who follow our web site know, we filled the month of March with RiverFest activities, all geared toward the Santa Fe.  Engineered by Sharon Yeago with final execution by Pam Smith, the complicated and many-faceted project was brought to fruition with help from all.  Especial thanks to Sharon and Pam.

OSFR President Mike Roth. Yes, Mike is very passionate about protecting our Santa Fe River.


Key people OSFR here, Cindy Noel, Treasurer, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, co-founding president and now Advisor, Marihelen Wheeler, Advisor and Alachua County Commission candidate, Mike Roth, President of OSFR.


Susan Giles, who makes this web site go and designs those beautiful pages to tell us about RiverFest and all the other wonderful things about Our Santa Fe River. And makes it all work.


Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson conceived and executed the first RiverFest many years ago. Then called the Song Contest, it has resulted in many songs being written about the Santa Fe River.  Here she is informing the crowd about the very real dangers of fracking.   Merrillee is way beyond the definition of the term “community leader.”


This is a picture of Ray Carson, our photographer.  Hint, he is inside this handsome RiverFest shirt.


Doug Jipson, owner-operator of our sponsor Digitel Video and also co-owner of our sponsor Rum 138, makes it possible for OSFR to have its headquarters on his property. Doug gives constantly and much to not only OSFR but also to the community, with art showings, music and film events. Here he is filming the on-goings, but he also wields a wicked burger turner on the griddle in the Jahfew cafe.


Ken Cornell, unopposed candidate for the Alachua County Commission, Jane Blais, OSFR board member, Merrillee one more time,and Patty Street, OSFR board member and secretary.


Our great contestants


Contest winner Cliff Dorsey  “Santa Fe Song.”


John Sterpe                                                                           Cindy Bear


Cassie Keenum                                                                             Darya Mallard


Carl Page                                                                                            Keith Peters

More of our exceptional volunteers         (in no particular order)


Pam Smith & Rhonda Long                                                                  Cathy Messersmith & Kristin Rubin

Ray Carson                           Toni McIntosh                                Martha Strawn                           Russ Jones


Kathy Fleming                    Linda Heyl                                   Erik   Wise                                 Bill Latham

Billy Jo Benedict               Dr. Kristen Merritt                Walter Bickmeyer                  Terry Phelan


Some but not all of our many great volunteers

Five of the photos in this post are from Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and John Minnicks.