It's August already. Summer is drawing to a close. That means just one more thing: Riverfest is around the corner.

But this year, Towanda's annual celebration along the Susquehanna River is taking place a week earlier than usual. The celebration, set up along the Merrill Parkway, will be this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 15, 16 and 17.

The main reason for a change in dates this year was the scheduling of the Fallen Heroes Motorcycle Ride, which will be this Saturday. It has been a part of Riverfest for several years now, and had to be scheduled then to work with the dates of several other motorcycle rides.

The three day celebration will still feature fun, food and fireworks for everyone to enjoy. Starting off the festivities at 6 p.m. on Thursday will be Maggi Frawley Dancers performing on the lower stage. Kids can enjoy the carnival rides with a special ride bracelet from 6 until 8 p.m. Everyone can take a break from walking the grounds with a stop at the bingo tent, open at 6 p.m. A karaoke contest kicks off at 7 p.m. and this year's Little Miss/Mr. Riverfest will feature some fine young contestants at 7;15 p.m. As always, there will be entertainment, with "Mutts Road" band taking to the main stage at 8 p.m.

Friday evening will also offer entertainment, with the Pro Musica singers at 6 p.m. on the lower stage, karaoke at 7 p.m., and "Top Shelf" on the main stage at 8 p.m. The food booths will be open, other vendors with displays, and the Midway opening at 6 p.m. The Edge Fitness Center will do a demonstration at 7 p.m.

Saturday will be a full day of activities and entertainment, with the Riverfest 5k run/walk at 9 a.m. (registration at 8 a.m.), a baby crawl at 9:30 a.m., and Midway opening at 1 p.m. with a special ride wristband good until 5 p.m. to ride all the rides for one price. The Fallen Heroes Motorcycle Ride will depart with a roar of engines in mid-morning. Children can enter the kids pedal tractor pulls at 2 p.m. The Country Connection Line Dancers will perform at 3 p.m., followed by Ike Bowers at 5 p.m. on the Lower Stage. Starting at 7 p.m. will be Uncle Stosh's Hardcore Pears Band on the main stage. There will be lots of food again, with the Towanda Fire Dept. doing their famous chicken barbecue, and other food featured all over the grounds.

The three day celebration will top off with a fireworks show "Fire Over Water" at 9:30 p.m. The half-hour display is one of the best in the region.

Make plans to come to Riverfest this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and still enjoy the pace of summer as it winds down.

Submitted by Joel Crayton, a member of the Riverfest Committee.