River Ruckus Returns for 10th Season Saturday with Classic Cars, Bands, Food, Fireworks and More

Crowds gather during a previous River Ruckus. (Photograph courtesy of Sarah Blackstone.)

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Team Haverhill’s River Ruckus, a day-long festival, returns for its 10th season this Saturday featuring a classic car show, live bands, a Kids Zone, Community Corner, art and history tours, local food, a Beer Garden with a choice of brews and wine and concluding with a fireworks show over the Merrimack River.

The event takes place Saturday, Sept. 25, from noon-8:30 p.m., in downtown Haverhill. It kicks off at noon with the classic car show on Washington Street in the heart of the Riverfront Cultural District. Classic cars, muscle cars, hot rods and specialty cars line up on Washington Street for three hours of showing off their rides. At Riverfront Park, the Haverhill High School Crew finishes their exhibition rowing race.

The River Ruckus Stage hosts a line-up of live music, featuring headliner Buffalo Tom, The Unlikely Candidates, Tall Heights, James Renner and Red Tail Hawk.

The Kids Zone runs from noon-4 p.m., and includes balloon artistry, professional face painting, bouncy-basketball, a master Lego builders challenge, the chalk walk, an obstacle course and a Sea Creature Touch from Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats of Newburyport.

Attendees may also join a historic walking tour and artist discussions from 2-4 p.m. The Buttonwoods Museum leads a short walk around downtown highlighting Haverhill’s unique Queen Anne Style Architecture. Local artist Jeff Grassie discusses the making of the Essex Street Gateway Mural, sculptor Dale Rogers talks about his sculpture, “The River Path,” in Washington Square and The Switchboard leads a presentation on the “Her Voice Carries” mural.

There will also be a pop-up vaccine clinic staffed by the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center from noon-3 p.m., in “The Community Corner” at 45 Washington St. A $25 Market Basket gift card will be given to all those receiving a vaccination. The Corner” allows attendees to visit with local community groups.

Food will be available all day, from local favorites la Pizza di Forno, Chicken Connection, Hard Body Meals, Casa Blanca, Kona Ice, Hidden Heart Cakes and Carter’s Ice Cream. The River Ruckus Beer Garden showcases Spaten Oktoberfest, Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union, Goose Island IPA and Goose Island Lemonade Shandy. Strawberry and black cherry hard seltzer. Red, white and rosé wines will also be available.

A 50/50 raffle will grow throughout the day, paying out one cash grand prize winner. Multiple prize packages of gift certificates from local businesses, bars and restaurants and concert tickets for Billie Eilish and John Mayer will also be raffled off.

The display of fireworks over the Merrimack River begins at 8 p.m., and launched from the middle of the river

There’s more at riverruckus.com.

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