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Former world champion Ruth Gordon-Ebens takes post as Reno River Festival director

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Ninth annual event adds whitewater alumnus, makes move to June 15 – 17, 2012

Changes for downtown Reno’s famed whitewater kayaking event are in store for 2012 as the Reno River Festival announces the addition of former Freestyle World Champion Ruth Gordon-Ebens as its Festival Director. The nine-year-old event also makes a move to June 15 – 17, aiming for consistently warmer temperatures, while also adding two new events: a Splash Dog Competition and the Biggest Little Dog Jog.  The 9th annual event includes the Festival’s popular freestyle, boatercross, and slalom kayaking competitions, as well as the Run Amuck fun run. Live music takes the stage throughout the weekend, along with Yoga in the Park and enough food and drink to satisfy any taste.

“We really took a close look at the event to determine what’s working and what’s not and moved forward from there,” said Jim Bauserman, the Festival’s owner. “Not only do we anticipate better, more consistent weather in June, we think that the new additions, combined with the already popular returning events, will be a welcome format for 2012.”

Ruth Gordon-Ebens is a three-time World Freestyle kayaking medalist  2007 Freestyle Kayaking World Champion, Pan American champion, Canadian National champion and  Reno River Festival winner, taking home top prize as recently as 2011. The Ontario, Canada native moved to Reno in 2008 after competing in the Reno River Festival in its early years. In her role as festival director, Gordon-Ebens oversees all sponsorship and vendor sales for the event, as well as production, and marketing communications.

“While I’ve been involved with the Festival for the past few years, this is the first time that I will be taking on the role of Festival Director and I look forward to the challenges of producing an event of this size,” said Gordon-Ebens. “I’m typically on the other side of things, competing and participating as an athlete, which I feel gives me a unique perspective on how we can continue to grow the event while also making all of our fans and athletes happy.”

In addition to Gordon-Ebens, the Reno River Festival also brings dogs to the park for the first time in 2012 – as competitors – with Splash Dogs and the Biggest Little Dog Jog. Splash Dogs is a nationally recognized dog enthusiast company that organizes and promotes dock jumping events across the United States.  A sanctioning body for dock jumping and dock diving events for dogs in two classes, Open and Lap Dog, preliminary rounds are held Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 followed by finals on Sunday afternoon. Sunday’s Biggest Little Dog Jog is a dog-owner fun run through downtown Reno beginning at 11 a.m.

Due to City ordinances, only dogs who are registered participants are allowed in the park and all dogs must be kept on a leash when not competing.

“All of the kayaking, SUP, and Run Amuck events will return for 2012 as well as the music, yoga and other activities,” added Bauserman. “We just wanted to add another component that appeals to those people already attending our event. Our audience is very outdoor-centric and with that comes a love of animals. So we thought this (Splash Dogs and the Biggest Little Dog Jog) was the perfect way to grow and involve more people.”

For more details about the 9th annual Reno River Festival or the Run Amuck, including registration, vendor, volunteer and sponsorship information, visit www.RenoRiverFestival.com or call 775-784-9400 x 119.

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