It was a sunny and warm Saturday, and the mood at DCR Neponset Park in Dorchester was upbeat as exhibitors arrived to prepare for the first ever Neponset RiverFest.
By 10am, the park began filling up, and people started lining up to try kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, courtesy of Paddle Boston. For many, paddling the Neponset River was a new experience, and it was a great opportunity for young people and families to get out on the water.
At 11am, hundreds of bike riders began riding through the Park, as part of the “Mattapan on Wheels” event. The newly opened portion of the Neponset Greenway Trail in Mattapan now allows local communities access to a 3+ mile stretch of path along the Neponset River and estuary.
Lunchtime found people picnicking in shady spots under the trees, listening to summery music from Richie Parsons and the Beachcombovers, ordering ” extraordinary sandwiches” from Capriotti’s food truck, or getting free fruit, snacks, popcorn, and water (courtesy of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and NepRWA).
As the day got warmer, the splash park became a popular destination for the little ones, and anyone else that wanted to cool off. Ice cream and frozen lemonade from Ruby’s ice cream truck helped bring temperatures down.
There was no shortage of fun things to do during the day, and everywhere you looked, people were spread across the Park visiting the variety of fun and educational exhibitors.
Safe to say, by 2pm many people had discovered the many recreational opportunities available at DCR Neponset Park, alongside the Neponset River and estuary. Hopefully, the park will remain a destination, whether people are looking to paddle, bike, walk, splash, fish, or just hang out. If you live in the Neponset Watershed, you really don’t have to travel far to find a beautiful spot to enjoy nature.
The Neponset RiverFest was sponsored by the Neponset River Watershed Association, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Milton, Cedar Grove Civic Association, Dorchester Reporter, DOT Smiles, Paddle Boston, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods.