Reno River Festival returning |

Reno River Festival returning

The Truckee River Whitewater Park and downtown Reno are set to host thousands of spectators and the world’s top kayakers at the fourth annual Reno River Festival from Thursday through Sunday.

Events include men’s, women’s and junior’s open freestyle competition, as well as a downriver race and a boater cross competition, all at no cost for admission.

Festival celebrations include a whitewater/kayak expo, a charity raft race, demonstrations, clinics, a food and beer garden, live music and promotions and activities sponsored by the restaurants, lounges, shops and galleries along the River Walk in downtown Reno.

Among the top competitors are Tennessee resident Eric Jackson ” the 2005 and 2006 Reno River Festival men’s freestyle champion and three-time world freestyle kayak champion ” and Jay Kincaid, the 2004 Reno River Festival champion from Reno.

Challenging Jackson and Kincaid will be another freestyle winner, Stephen Wright of Washington D.C., along with Bryan Kirk of Charlottesville, Va., Ben Guska of Palm Bay, Fla., and Maurice (Mo) Kelleher of Ireland.

The returning 2005 and 2006 women’s freestyle champion is Australia’s Tanya Faux. The 32-year-old will compete with 17-year-old Emily Jackson, another member of the Jackson ‘first family’ of kayaking and the youngest female to navigate the Zambezi and Nile Rivers. Challenging Faux and Jackson will be Ruth Gordon of Canada and New Zealand native Nikki Kelley.

The junior’s competition will see a battle of best friends, as Reno native Jason Craig and Dane Jackson, son of Eric Jackson, go head to head. Now 13 years old, Dane is the youngest member ever of the U.S. Freestyle Kayak Team, named to the team in 2004.

The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) produces the Reno River Festival and expects increased international participation this year because the Freestyle World Championships in Canada concluded on Saturday.

The Reno River Festival begins with an opening ceremony on Thursday. Competitions begin on Friday and run through Mother’s Day (Sunday). Visit for more information.

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