Fun in the Sun: July's Healdsburg Water Carnival
On Saturday, July 15, the exciting, family-friendly, super-spectacular Healdsburg Water Carnival — an old-fashioned Russian River water pageant held at Healdsburg’s Veterans Memorial Beach — splashes into life. It promises to be a great day of soaking-wet fun in the sun, the kind you’ll remember fondly when winter’s chill returns. And it’s free!
Presented by Sonoma County Regional Parks and the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation, the carnival benefits the Russian River Water Safety Patrol, which provides loaner life vests and water safety information to river visitors throughout the summer.
Festive water pageants on the Russian River date back more than a century. Then, as now, the ingredients that made for a successful event included music, dancing, beautiful decorations, plenty of good food — and, of course, lots of fun and games in the water.
The Water Carnival runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and there is no admission charge. Wristbands will be sold for $10 that allow the wearer to slide on the Zoom Flume, take a boat ride on iconic Sandy the Swan, get their face painted, and participate in the popular barrel races in the river.
At 3 p.m., the Great American Rubber Duck Dash will be held at the river’s edge. Anyone can participate by sponsoring one or more rubber ducks ($3 apiece or 10 for $20) and racing them. Winners receive one of a handful of baskets stocked with prizes from local merchants, as well as memberships in Sonoma County Regional Parks.
In addition to the water and beach activities, Rosetown Soul and R&B Revue will provide live music, and the Parks Foundation will sell tap beer donated by Lagunitas. Vendors, including Three Twins Ice Cream, Wicked Slush, Diaz Catering, and Rossoti’s Hot Dogs, will provide an assortment of delicious food.
Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach is a summer swim zone staffed by lifeguards, so why not bring your swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, and other beach necessities, and spend the day?
What you need to know:
- Date and Time: The Healdsburg Water Carnival takes place on Saturday, July 15, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Location: Healdsburg’s Veterans Memorial Beach, 13839 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, 707-433-1625. The park is open 7 a.m. to 30 minutes before sunset.
- Cost: Admission to the Water Carnival is free. A $10 wristband allows entry to rides, barrel races, and other activities.
- Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members with their parks pass.
- Park Amenities: Picnic facilities, restroom, par course, beach wheelchair available upon request, and lifeguards on duty from July through Labor Day.