The Trinity River on the cusp of downtown Fort Worth is packed with tubers during Rockin'€™ the River at Panther Island Pavilion on Saturday July 21, 2018 in Fort Worth. The weekly event features free parking and free waterfront concerts for six Saturdays during the summer. 

The Trinity River on the cusp of downtown Fort Worth is packed with tubers during Rockin'€™ the River at Panther Island Pavilion on Saturday July 21, 2018 in Fort Worth. The weekly event features free parking and free waterfront concerts for six Saturdays during the summer. 

Robert W.Hart/Special Contributor

With record-high temperatures and prominent entertainment outlets canceling activities due to extreme heat, it would be understandable if D-FW residents wanted lock themselves indoors this July and August.

But there's a recurring live, local event in Fort Worth that's just too cool to pass up.

Looks kind of like the Guadelupe River, doesn't it? This is the Trinity River in Fort Worth ... much closer to home.

Looks kind of like the Guadelupe River, doesn't it? This is the Trinity River in Fort Worth ... much closer to home.

Robert W.Hart/Special Contributor

Rockin' the River, a Saturday event in the summertime at Fort Worth's Panther Island Pavilion, is one of the more unique concert series in Texas. Situated on the banks of the Trinity River, with the historic Tarrant County Courthouse in clear view, Rockin' the River is a free concert series in front of one of the state's only permanent waterfront stages. Each Saturday in the summer through Aug. 11, well-known names in Texas country perform while tons of tanning fans leisurely float on inner tubes and kayaks.

And yes, we're talking about the Trinity River: While Dallas continues to fumble its recreation-specific plans for its part of the Trinity, Cowtown has had its section of the river figured out since 2011, when this concert series first debuted, offering a venue for North Texans to float the river without driving south to the Texas Hill Country.

Haven't tried it? You should. I did.

It was 3 p.m. on a recent Saturday, and temps hovered at about 110 degrees in Fort Worth. After an extra application of sunscreen, I claimed my tube, grabbed a beer and splashed into the Trinity as Chance Ray and the Good Sinners began their set. Getting into the refreshing river really was that simple, especially since admission and parking are free. Tubes, kayaks, canoes and standup paddle boards from Backwoods Paddlesports, all with life jackets and oars when needed, are available for rental.

Outside coolers aren't allowed, but they aren't necessary anyhow, since soft-sided six-pack coolers are offered with beers -- which go for $4 each. Even sunscreen, sunglasses, koozies and "dry pouches" for your keys, wallet and credit cards are available for purchase, or you can rent a locker to secure your valuables.

Patrons can bring lawn chairs, and a small amount of shade is available outside of the spacious VIP area.

Although the first of the five musical performances kicks-off at 2:15 p.m., with the headliner at 6:45 p.m. (followed by the "after party" band, which plays on a stage situated on a small beach area, at 8:25 p.m.), it's not as though you're stuck in a tube for the entirety of the event. Even with a respectably-sized early group of arrivers, I easily maneuvered from the river to the concession stand and then to a stand-up paddleboard for a quick river excursion.

That man cheering for Cody Canada and the Departed at Rockin' the River is me: Dallas Morning News Music Critic Kelly Dearmore. 

That man cheering for Cody Canada and the Departed at Rockin' the River is me: Dallas Morning News Music Critic Kelly Dearmore. 

Robert W.Hart/Special Contributor

With the rock-infused '90s country sounds of Fort Worth-based Shotgun Rider bouncing in the background, I slowly paddled away from the stage area toward a smattering of kayakers. I quickly found a peaceful vibe even though a growing gaggle of hearty partiers weren't far behind. That moment of zen took place at the foot of the downtown Fort Worth skyline -- a remarkable sight.

Better still, Panther Island sells a cocktail not often found along the tubing capitals of Texas: minty, sweet mojitos for $8 each.

As the day's headlining band, the red dirt pioneers Cody Canada and the Departed, offered electric, southern-rock takes on hits both old and new, I couldn't help but think about people who canceled their plans due to the outrageous heat. Luckily for me, my plans involved hot tunes on a cool river.

Rockin' the River runs Saturdays in the summer through Aug. 11 at Panther Island Pavilion, 395 Purcey St., Fort Worth. rockintheriverfw.com.

Cody Canada played the headlining set at Rockin' the River in Fort Worth in late July 2018.

Cody Canada played the headlining set at Rockin' the River in Fort Worth in late July 2018.

Robert W.Hart/Special Contributor
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