Healdsburg Water Carnival

Healdsburg Water Carnival - 2016

Join us from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, August 13, for the Healdsburg Water Carnival, a day of old-time revelry on the Russian River. Presented by Sonoma County Regional Parks and the Parks Foundation, the carnival features the following events:

11 AM Water Carnival Begins
11:30 AM
Healdsburg Avenue Bridge Celebration
12 PM
Live Band begins
1 PM
3 PM
The Great American rubber ducky dash with cool prizes
5 PM
Water Carnival Ends
Ongoing Events (11AM - 5PM)
Wine Barrel Races
Face Painting
Zoom Flume and Water Obstacles
Sandy the Swan Boat Rides
Vendor Booths
Food Trucks  
Live Music (begins at 12 PM)
Mermaids  (begin at 1 PM)
Stand up Paddleboard Jousting 
Air Cannon kids games  
Regional Parks Mobile Discovery Center   
Pacific Air Museum  
Healdsburg Historical Society   

Come out and experience classic fun at Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach! Admission is free. $10 wristbands will be available to purchase at the carnival and include a boat ride on "Sandy the Swan", water activities, face painting and more! Ducks will be available to sponsor for $3 each or ten for $20. Prizes include Shelton’s Natural Foods Market gift baskets and a $250 Shelton's shopping spree for the grand prize winner. Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members.

Remember, the beach is a summer swim zone, so bring your suit and towel and make a day of it. The seasonal dam installed at the beach each summer creates a calm swim area perfect for kids and families. Swim boundaries are clearly marked, and Regional Parks' lifeguards are on duty daily through July and August.

Proceeds will benefit the Russian River Water Safety Patrol, which provides loaner life vests and water safety education at five Sonoma County Regional Parks sites.

We express our sincere thanks to the sponsors of the 2016 Water Carnival: The City of Healdsburg, Russian River Adventures, Hotel Healdsburg and h2hotel, Syar Industries, Brush Bernard Certified Public Accountants, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Shelton’s Natural Foods Market, the Heck Foundation, Sonoma County Water Agency and Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.

See you on the beach!

The present-day Healdsburg Water Carnival debuted in 2011 as a fundraiser for the summer dam that creates the Memorial Beach swimming area. When budget cuts threatened the dam's installation, Regional Parks partnered with the City of Healdsburg and Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire to rally the community with a party based on river festivals of the early 1900s.

The event was recognized by the California Park and Recreation Society with a "Champion of the Community" award for Regional Parks.The fundraiser proved so popular it continues as an annual event.

The following is an excerpt from the article "SplashWater Carnival barrel races 1948 from the Past: 20th Century Water Carnivals of Healdsburg" by Holly Hoods, Healdsburg Museum Historian:

"Healdsburgers have always loved to party. The tradition of festive water pageants on the Russian River in Healdsburg dates back more than 100 years. Water carnivals evolved from popular land-based festivals, including May Day, Fourth of July and something called a Floral - sometimes “Flower” - Festival. Organizers of the water carnivals could innovate, but they liked to re-use the best ideas from well-established events. The key ingredients necessary for a successful river festival in the early 1900s were: music, dancing, parades, floats, queens, speeches, plentiful food and drink, feats of athletic prowess and beautiful decorations. Just add water."

Water Carnival

Get a Sneak Peek

Check out the Zoom Flume, a giant slip-n-slide new this year. Looks fun, doesn't it?

Hiking in Sonoma County

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