Friday, October 10, 2008

Rio Vista hooks visitors with bass derby, festival

Rio Vista hooks visitors with bass derby, festival
By Barry Eberling | Daily Republic | October 09, 2008

Roy Taylor, an emplyee for California Carnival, hoses down a ride in the carnival portion on the Rio Vista Bass Festival. The festival, which runs Friday through Sunday, includes a fishing derby, games, rides, a soap box derby, vendors and a parade. Photo by Chris Jordan

RIO VISTA - Striped bass will be star of the show in Rio Vista this weekend.

The city is hosting its Striped Bass Derby and Festival. Anglers will start competing today to catch the fish that will net the $2,000 prize.

But non-anglers will also find plenty to do. The festival features such events as a carnival, parade, boat parade, entertainment, fireworks and a classic car show.

It's a big bash for this eastern Solano County city of about 7,500 residents along the Sacramento River. The festival returns this year after being canceled in 2007.

'It's a local tradition here and the town really missed it,' said Mary Ellen Lamothe, president of the Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce. 'They're really looking forward to it. The carnival coming to town is a big deal in a little town like this.'

The festival can also introduce visitors to a city unlike any other in Solano County, one that gets much of its identity from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Lamothe said she has talked to Solano County residents who were not aware that Rio Vista is in the county.

The event also can be a boost for businesses. Lamothe owns Foster's Bighorn, an old-time Rio Vista bar and restaurant with about 200 taxidermied animals on display.

Hope and Brent Cohn are co-chairing the volunteer effort for the festival. Seventy-five to 100 volunteers will be working the three days, Hope Cohn said.

The Cohns moved to Rio Vista two years ago and volunteered to help with the festival in October 2007, right after the festival should have held but was scratched.

Hope Cohn sees some changes with the festival's return. There will be no big commercial food wagons, she said, and most food booths will be run by local nonprofits.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.