In collaboration with Emery County and the John Wesley Powell River History Museum, the City of Green River will host the first annual Swell River Fest, a weeklong celebration of Green River’s history, culture and unique environment. The fest will be held Friday, July 30 through Saturday, August 7.

“We’ve wanted to host some events to focus on the river itself. Since we couldn’t do it last year because of COVID, we want to get a fun group to show people what the river is about and hopefully grow the event each year,” said Festival Co-Coordinator Amanda Leonard. “In the future we hope to bring on some stewardship projects as well.”

The Fest will kick off with the Catfish on the Green Fishing Tournament on July 30 and 31. Participants must pay $50 — which includes a camp chair, a food voucher for local restaurants, day entry to Green River State Park and entry to win cash awards and giveaways — to compete in either the individual division or the two-man team division. Trophies and cash awards will be awarded to the top three in each competition.

From Sunday, August 1 through Thursday, August 5, local Green River guiding companies will lead river trips which attendees will schedule directly with the participating companies. Colorado River and Trail Expeditions will guide a five-day Desolation Canyon Trip starting on August 1, and Holiday River Expeditions is offering a run of the Westwater Canyon Daily on August 3. Participants can also run Labyrinth Canyon on August 2, Crystal Geyser to Ruby Ranch on August 4 and the Green River Daily on August 5 with CRATE or Holiday River Expeditions.

Friday, August 6 has been designated as Family Day, with a slip-and-slide, a guided tour of the John Wesley Powell River History Museum and bird watching. Roy Webb will lead a Moab Boat House Field Trip that evening, followed by dinner at Ray’s Tavern.

The last event of the day will be a screening of “Powell 150” at Green River City Park. 70 days of floating, 80 days of filming and 1000 miles of paddling went into the creation and production of the documentary exploring the Colorado River Basin just as John Wesley Powell and his crew did over a century ago.

The final day of the Fest, August 7, is a group float on the Green River with your own watercraft, friends and family. Kayaks, tubes, duckies and the life jackets required to operate them will be available for rent. A vendor market will also be open at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum, where festival goers will be given free admission for the day.

Alongside the fun on the river, the Swell River Fest will conclude with live music from four acts for the whole family. Rod Asay, whose work spans the genres of country, folk, pop and classic rock, will play first, followed by Colorado’s Sweet Lillies. Benny Bassett will follow with acoustic rock tunes, and the live music will wrap up with Mountain Country’s country, folk and bluegrass music.

“The part that excites me is getting people aware that the Green River is a great, fun place to recreate and float. I can’t wait to see people going down the river on inner tubes, air mattresses — anything that can float,” Leonard said. “I’m excited about the attraction that this event will hopefully bring to tourism options in Green River.”

For a full list of events, go to

Event Information

What: The Swell River Fest

When: July 30 to August 7

Where: Various locations

For more information, go to