All smiles for this year's Riverfest

From left, Lily Kopet, Kay Lynn Thomas and Alecsis Ortega enjoy one of the many amusement rides at Riverfest.

Riverfest 2019 came to a close Sunday with its chairman Tom Schultz about as satisfied and happy as he has been with the event in its multi-decade run.

Among the keys to a successful late summer festival in Wisconsin, according to Schultz, are booking the right bands with suitable musical diversity. He noted, however, that is a secondary factor. The first thing organizers pray for is good weather and they sure got it this year. Nice dew points, a few cool breezes and, especially, no rain during the heart of the festival meant Riverfest saw one of its biggest crowds ever over its traditional four-day run.

Schultz said revenues in almost every way were up this year, with the carnival midway, Taste of Watertown and beverage stands all doing well.

"Each day was a good day in terms of weather," Schultz said Sunday afternoon as he was winding down from four hectic days that saw veteran bands such as the Atlanta Rhythm Section and former Bad Company and Ted Nugent band lead singer Brian Howe grace the Riverfest stage.

"We were elated with the large crowds," Schultz said. "We saw lots of smiling faces and when you walked through the crowds for Dancing Queen the Abba Tribute Show, everyone was smiling and singing along and really identifying with the music."

One of the highlights of the festival was the Saturday night performance of Howe who brought an intense dose of blues-based rock to Riverfest.

"Brian Howe's voice was amazing," Schultz said. "He was very personable and spent a great deal of time after the show signing autographs and posing for photos. He took time out to talk to every person who wanted to meet him and said he very much enjoyed the show here. He said he would come back whenever we wanted him. His performance was well past my expectations."

Schultz said regional bands such as the LoveMonkeys and The Britins also enjoyed playing Riverfeste and offered their services again whenever needed.

"And Separate Ways The Journey Experience was a great one, too. People were wild about them," Schultz said.

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