Spectators weather a steady rain Sunday morning on the walking trestle between Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston and Bonney Park in Auburn to watch the start of the Falls Run on the Androscoggin River. The event is part of Lewiston-Auburn Riverfest. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Despite a sunny start earlier in the weekend, the Lewiston-Auburn Riverfest had to be cut short Sunday due to heavy rain.

The event was scheduled to begin Friday evening with the Androscoggin Land Trust (ATL) Paddle After Hours, with a launch on the Auburn side of the river, behind Gritty McDuff’s Brew Pub at 68 Main St.

Friday night’s programming was also canceled because of rain.

“Unfortunately due (to) possible impending thunderstorms, the Paddle After Hours with ALT has been cancelled,” organizers wrote in a Facebook post.

Jeff Warren of Auburn shoves off Sunday morning from the shore of the Androscoggin River in Lewiston, as other competitors in the Falls Run use the new dock at Simard-Payne Memorial Park. The dock was installed for the first Lewiston-Auburn Riverfest. About a dozen canoes and kayaks took part in the race that went off as rain began. The rest of Sunday’s activities were canceled due to strong wind and heavy rain. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The event has been rescheduled to Friday, Aug. 20, the day before the bicentennial parade.

Saturday was a sunny and fun-filled day, with the Riverfest Regatta, Museum L-A’s “Our Working Waterway” river exhibit, food trucks and bands and a movie in the evening at Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston.

The L-A River Races continued Sunday morning, but due to strong wind and heavy rain, the “Try a Boat” event was canceled, as were the music, beer and food trucks at Festival Plaza in Auburn.

The Lewiston-Auburn Riverfest organizers wrote on Facebook late Sunday morning they had to cancel the rest of the day’s festivities.

“Unfortunately, due to the downpour, we’ve had to cancel the block party,” the announcement read. “But we got a day of Regatta, music, food and beer garden under our belts and the Riverfest River Race with ALT was held today!”

Ben Barrett and his sister, Ella, of Durham say they had no delusions about winning Sunday’s race, but were out to have fun and explore another part of the Androscoggin River. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

This year marked the Twin Cities’ first Riverfest. Last year, the L-A Metro Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Androscoggin Land Trust for the ALT RiverRace. The race had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunday morning’s RiverRace took place at the Simard-Payne Memorial Park and the Auburn boat ramp, with three race course options: the Family Fun Paddle, the Falls Run and the LA Scavenger.

Although the afternoon’s events were canceled, organizers said they were pleased with the programming.

“We have the blueprint to build a bigger, better and more engaging Riverfest for years to come,” they wrote on Facebook. “Thanks so much to our sponsors, event staff and volunteers for a flawless event and thank you all for showing up and taking part in what will become an annual tradition!”

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