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September 05, 2023

Delaware River Festival brings ferry rides and an art contest to the waterfront this weekend

The Sept. 9 event, which intends to create awareness around conserving the waterway, also has pedal boats, a scavenger hunt and a 28-mile bike loop

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Delaware River festival THOM CARROLL/for PhillyVoice

The Delaware River Festival will feature free activities, including games, face painting, henna tattoos and free ferry rides between the Philly and Camden waterfronts.

The Delaware River Festival will celebrate its namesake waterway from both sides of the river this Saturday. The annual event features an array of free, family-friendly activities — including pedal boat rides, face painting, henna tattoos, a scavenger hunt and an art contest — at Penn's Landing on the Philly side and Wiggins Park in Camden.

Free rides between the two waterfronts will be offered via the RiverLink FerryAttendees of the Sept. 9 event can also get into the Independence Seaport Museum for free, although some of the exhibits at the museum will still cost money.

An environmentally themed art contest, in which participants submit original works under the theme "Trash Free Waters," offers the chance to have winning artwork used in advertisements displayed around the Delaware Estuary. Three gift cards for art supplies will also be awarded.

The event is intended to create awareness about the Delaware River and its waterfront and educate people about the importance of conservation. The 282-mile waterway is the longest free-flowing river in the Eastern United States, running from Hancock, New York near the Pennsylvania border down to the Delaware Bay.

As part of the festival, attendees can sign up to participate in a 28-mile bike ride called Loop the Delaware. Organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia in partnership with local environmental groups, the bike ride will cover the Delaware River Trail's K&T Trail, the Port Richmond Connector Trail and Penn Treaty Park on the Philly side and include the Cramer Hill Waterfront Park and Cooper's Poynt Waterfront Park on Camden's side of the river.

The ride will showcase part of what's known as the Delaware River Heritage Trail, an ongoing effort to create a 76-mile bike loop around the river, from Trenton to Camden on the New Jersey side and between Morrisville and Old City Philadelphia on the Pennsylvania side. This Saturday's ride is one of two Loop the Delaware rides planned for this fall. The second ride will be held on Oct. 28.

The Delaware River Festival is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m on Saturday, Sept. 9. The Loop the Delaware bike ride starts at 9 a.m.

Delaware River Festival

Saturday, Sept. 9
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Bike ride begins at 9 a.m.
Penn's Landing, Philadelphia and Wiggins Park, Camden