Due to concerns for the West Nile Virus, which was detected in mosquitoes in two areas of the city last week, festival organizers suggest wearing pants and long-sleeve shirts after dusk and using a bug repellent on any exposed skin. For more information, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health online at www.mass.gov and search for WNV Fact Sheet.
The festival’s fireworks display is scheduled for 9 p.m., and will be launched from a barge on the river, behind The Tap.
The Rotary Club event is known for its annual race of yellow rubber ducks on the river to raise money for local charities. Ducks can be adopted for $5 each, or a “Quack Pack” of six ducks for $25, a “Quacker’s Dozen” of 13 ducks for $50, or a “Flock” of 28 ducks for $100. The ducks will float down river about 700 feet to the finish line behind The Tap.
The first duck to enter a tube that marks the end of the race wins $10,000 for its sponsor. The money is donated by Rockingham Toyota-Honda Scion of Salem, N.H. The money raised by this event provides support for a number of organizations, including the YMCA, YWCA, the Boys & Girls Club, Emmaus Inc., Community Action, Bethany Homes, Team Coordinating Agency and Merrimack Valley Hospice, said John Cuneo, co-chairman of the duck regatta.
The River Ruckus kicks off at 2 p.m. with a Classic Car Show on Washington Street, sponsored by Haverhill Bank. The show will feature cars from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Custom hot rods will also be on display. The public can vote for a favorite car for a “people’s choice” award. The winning classic car owner will receive a trophy and a $100 gift certificate to Keon’s Bistro 105.
Children’s activities are from 2 to 5 p.m. and include a drum circle, face painting and balloon animals. Live music kicks off at 2:15 on a stage behind The Tap.