SUPER SATURDAY: Slow and easy is vibe at River Rocks Music Festival

ccleblanc@thestate.comApril 12, 2014 

— The bandanna and tie-dyed crowd made its way to the River Rocks Music Festival on Saturday in Riverfront Park.

But many in the crowd wearing ’60s-era clothing, know that time only through their American history books.

With an impressive lineup of bands, the festival was all about music and having fun on the river – through water sports or just sitting on the banks and watching the sunlight bounce off the surface of the Congaree River or the Columbia Canal.

On the banks, Bob Marley flags flew in the warm, gentle breeze as mutts and pure-bred dogs sniffed each other and barked in delight.

The event, sponsored by the Congaree Riverkeeper, had a personal meaning for John and Karen Anderson.

“This is our sixth anniversary today, so we're mellowing out and doing something different,” Karen Anderson said from under a shady tent.

Saturday's event carried the 40-something couple and back to days when Columbia hosted Mayfest and the Three Rivers Music Festival.

That harkened to a time the Columbia natives recall as safer and simpler.

Karen Anderson said River Rocks is just what the couple wanted on their anniversary – a relaxed, beautiful day away from the Internet as they enjoyed music and sipped beer along a riverbank.

“It's just so nice,” she said. Then she grinned and admitted she had used her mobile phone to text relatives and friends about how they were celebrating their special day.

Others on the crowd watched their children as they frolicked in the bouncey house or encouraged their partners as they tackled a 30-foot climbing tower.

A few steps from the music, more adventurous river enthusiasts took free rides on kayaks in the Columbia Canal.

About 50 folks had paddled kayaks or sampled stand-up paddle boarding, said Brandon Blackwell of Adventure Carolina.

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