THE Richmond River at Woodburn came alive with plenty of people turning out for the annual festival on Saturday.

Water-skiing, dragon boat races, raft races and even a bi-athlon kept locals and visitors entertained at the second annual Woodburn Riverside Festival.

Richmond Valley Council once again trounced Lismore Council in the council kayak race which saw mayors Ernie Bennett and Jenny Dowell good naturedly 'punch it out' on the sidelines.

Winner of the bi-athlon, where competitors had to swim the width of the river then run back over the bridge, was Hamish McKendrick of Evans Head following a family tradition when his older brother Alexander won it in previous years.

The Northern Rivers Waterski club helped organise many of the professional skiiers who visited from Brisbane and the Gold Coast to show off their expertise and they didn't disappoint.

There were displays of wake-boarding, air chair riding and ski-racing from the Wild Thing and Top Shot teams - considered the best of the best in water-ski racing.

The hotly contested 88.9FM and Rod n Reel home made raft race saw nine entrants with a convincing win from IGA Woodburn.

Woodburn SES were kept very busy picking up some wayward rafts that tried to sneak to Coraki on the current.

For those who stuck closer to the land there was singing from St Joseph's and Woodburn Primary schools, a petting zoo, jumping castle and a visit from Mr Bumsqueak the clown.

"It was a fantastic day," coordinator Pam Bellingham said.

"Everything went smoothly, although the wind occasionally caused a few problems for the water skiers and the dragon boats.

"I think everyone enjoyed themselves, and the amazing fireworks rounded off a very successful day in a truly euphoric atmosphere."

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