River Ruckus Saturday in Haverhill Rain or Shine; Music, Classic Cars, Kids’ Fun, Fireworks Too

Phillip Phillips performing in 2014. (MSC Marketing, Creative Commons.)

Team Haverhill’s annual River Ruckus takes place Saturday in downtown Haverhill with live music, classic cars, children’s activities, local food and more topped off at night with fireworks over the Merrimack River.

The festival takes place between noon and 8:30 p.m., at Riverfront Park and Washington Street in downtown Haverhill, but the Haverhill YMCA unofficially launches with its “Run to the Ruckus” 5K Road Race starting at 9 a.m. in Washington Square. The River Ruckus stage opens at noon with the national anthem performed by the Haverhill High School Chorus. Choral Director John Salvi then leads between 25 and 30 Hillie singers through music by the band Queen.

WXRV 92.5 the River takes over the stage at 12:30 with a performance by Frontwoods, followed by The Far Out, 1:45 p.m.; Life of the Party, 3 p.m.; Joe P, 4:15 p.m.; and American Idol winner Phillip Phillips headlining at 6.

A Haverhill bank-sponsored Classic Car Show runs from noon-3 p.m., along Washington Street, with a trophy awarded to the People’s Choice’ favorite car. There is no registration required by car owners and admission from Washington Square is on a first-come, first-served basis. Washington Street will otherwise be closed to all traffic from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

A “Community Corner,” featuring select arts and performers takes place from 1-3 p.m., where, among other acts, the Pinewoods Morris Men—a New England troupe of Morris dancers in the Cotswald, England, tradition—appear. They actually begin at Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road, from 11 a.m.-noon, as part of the Essex National Heritage Area’s Trails and Sails weekend, along with plein air artists.

Other activities include a Haverhill High School Crew Exhibition from noon-1 p.m., on the Merrimack River; Kids Zone, noon-3 p.m.; and Beer & Wine Garden and A Taste of Haverhill, noon-8 p.m. The fireworks finale starts at 8 p.m., at Riverfront Park.

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