Make plans to visit historic Scottsville, Virginia on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015, for the 30th Annual James River Batteau Festival. This FREE, all-day, family-friendly event will feature live music, traditional artisans, crafters, food vendors, period re-enactors, walking tours, open houses, museum displays, art exhibits, children's activities, games, river fun, community dance, sidewalk sales, antique booths, restaurant specials...and MORE!
The highlight of the festival is the afternoon arrival of a flotilla of 15-20 historic replica, hand-crafted “batteaux”...long, wooden, flat-bottomed, poled boats. Each batteau carries a full crew, dressed in period costume, and supplies for their 8-day journey from Lynchburg to Richmond. Scottsville is the halfway point of their 120-mile trek and welcomes the batteaux with a town-wide festival that draws well-wishers and visitors from throughout the region.
Part of the mission of the James River Batteau Festival (along with the parent organization, Virginia Canals and Navigations Society) is to preserve the heritage of this historic mode of river transport that was a vital presence on America's Founding River from 1775 to 1840. At one point, there were more than 500 batteaux plying the waters of The James...carrying tobacco, grain, and passengers...which expanded routes that helped open trade to the West.