Friday, February 22, 2008

Rio Vista Bass Festival Returns To Its Roots

Rio Vista Bass Festival Returns To Its Roots
By Carol Bogart | Daily Republic | February 21, 2008

Good friends J.E. Wiley and Gary Bryant try their luck for Striped Bass with other fishermen during the 2005 Rio Vista Bass Derby. The bass derby has been going strong for years, but the festival was canceled last year. Organizers are looking at bringing the festival back. File Photo 2005. Photo by File 2005

Rio Vista - Have a hankering for the simpler times of yesteryear? If so, you aren't alone.

That's why the Rio Vista Bass Festival is returning to its roots of 60 years ago after being canceled last year due to a lack of interest.

'The festival had become more like a carnival with big food wagons from L.A.' and less like a small town fair, said Linda Lannon, executive director of the Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce.

When residents were asked how the festival could be changed, Lannon said the frequent reply was, 'Make it more like it used to be.'

Gone will be the commercial food and other vendors. In their place will be food prepared by service groups such as the Lions and Rotary clubs. Area artisans will replace commercial purveyors of crafts, photos and other art.

When last years' festival was canceled, it caused so much confusion that even the historic Bass Derby suffered, Lannon said. Only 900 anglers entered the 2007 derby, a drop of 300 compared with 2006. Anglers may have thought the derby had also been canceled, she added.

Local artisans interested in being vendors at the festival can request to be added to the chamber's list, Lannon said. When the application process is finalized in about a month, those who have e-mailed the chamber will be notified.

Lannon said area artists should put 'art/crafts vendor' on the e-mail subject line.

The festival, which will be Oct. 10-12, will feature a parade, carnival, queen's contest, pancake breakfast, talent shows, chili and Portuguese bean cookoffs and a fireworks display.

All Rio Vista community groups are encouraged to participate, Lannon said, and the chamber is hosting monthly planning meetings.

Lannon is confident the festival 'will be much better this year,' as will attendance at the Bass Derby, she said.

Reach Carol Bogart at 427-6955 or at

Rio Vista Bass Festival
Oct. 10-12
Info: Call 374-2700 or e-mail, or

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