Waterfest on Castle Rock Lake
Waterfest on Castle Rock Lake is held annually on the first Saturday of August. It’s one of the biggest family week-ends of the year. There are times you go camping to quietly commune with nature in serenity and peace. Well, this ain’t that! This is a fun-filled, social week-end for kids and families. Put down your cell phones and electronic games- you’ll make new friends, decorate bikes, run races, swim, boat, watch fireworks and frankly, make memories that will last a life-time. It’s no wonder camping and hotel reservations go quickly that week-end.
There’s a boat load of activities at Juneau County Castle Rock Park and Campground. Saturday kicks off with a 5K walk/run. The decorated bike parade is extremely popular and the competition is fierce. Once you’ve caught the decorating bug, there is NO need to stop. There’s a lighted campsite contest. And, if you’ve arrived with a boat, keep on decorating. Register to be part of the Lynxx Venetian Lights Boat Parade. Boats leave from the marina at O’Dell’s Bay at dusk. They meander down the shoreline of Castle Rock Lake to crowds of well-wishers and cheers. The judges’ boats travel through the parade and select the top four boats based on originality of theme, costumes, music, lighting displayed, and interaction with the shoreline crowds. Prizes are awarded at a special brunch on Sunday morning.
Additional fun at Juneau County Castle Rock Park and Campground includes adult sport tournaments, live music, food stands and ‘GEE and ME’ Amusements. More info can be found at JuneauCounty.com.
The culmination of the festivities are, of course, the fireworks. Watch them from the beach of Castle Rock Lake or from one of the shoreline bars and grills, including:
Portofino Bay Restaurant has an outdoor patio and deck bar with live music. Their menu includes burgers, sandwiches and pasta dishes with house-made noodles.
Shipwreck Bay with beachside volleyball sports a large deck and bar. Food ranges from burgers to filet mignon dinners.
Pine Cove is a great American joint featuring fabulous American food.
The Dirty Turtle, bar, grill and marina, is the quintessential place for a great time on Castle Rock Lake. They are proud continuing sponsors of Waterfest. The Venetian Boat Parade takes off from their marina. Their inside patio is huge and the fun unlimited. Sandwiches and great drinks abound.
The Cruisin Turtle, If you’ve come without a boat but want to experience the action from the water, there’s a cruise boat that takes off from the Dirty Turtle. It meanders past all the bars and decorated Venetian Light boats. The top-deck is the perfect spot to see it all. Sandwiches and drinks are available.
No matter where you experience it, Waterfest is sure to become one of your families’ great traditions.
Written by Diane Dahl, Juneau County photographer, locally acclaimed artist and writer.