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NoliFest to celebrate all that paddles

Sue Guinn Legg • Mar 30, 2017 at 12:28 PM

ERWIN - NoliFest, Mountain River Guides’ annual celebration of all that paddles, will be held this weekend on the banks of the Nolichucky River southwest of Erwin.

A three-day affair featuring a roster live music, food truck dining, camping, rafting, demonstrations, competitions and other fun on the river, the festival will kick off Friday afternoon and continue through noon on Sunday at USA Raft and the neighboring Nolichucky Gorge Campground on Jones Branch Road.

Now in its third annual installation, NoliFest and all it involves is designed for kayakers, bellyakersm inflatable Funyakers, paddle boarders and others who love to go with the river’s flow or would love to learn how.

Friday’s activities start at 1 p.m and include a lower river run, paddle board yoga and jousting on the pond, a Onewheel Jibfest celebrating the tricky art of maneuvering an electric one-wheel board over rails, stumps, rocks, stairs and other unlikely elements.

Friday’s featured musicians will be Mighty Feast starting at 6:30 p.m. and and Thin Air Faction beginning at 8.

Saturday’s activities start at 7 a.m. with breakfast, followed by the opening of the USA Raft Store and festival vendor booths.

A World Kayak Hometown Throwdown Race - the first in a series of free whitewater paddling competitions lined up this year on the Nolichucky, will start at 10 a.m.; Paddle with a Pro lessons will begin at 11; and at 1:30 p.m. the shuttle will leave for a trip up the mountain for anyone down with a seven-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail.

Saturday afternoon will be filled with paddle board fishing, fly fishing lessons for beginners, a kids fishing derby and a Onewheel Enduro Race in the USA Raft’s JibFest Park.

Saturday’s music will include Dave Wall surf tunes, DJ Angel and the evening’s headliner, Brushfire Stankgrass of Asheville, N.C., starting at 8.

Sunday morning will begin with breakfast at 7:30 and a Trail Run for Fun at 9, followed by a down river paddle board race at 10, a Onewheel demonstration with a chance to try it out at 10:30, paddle board yoga at 11, and a event ending Onewheel Enduro Race at noon.

NoliFest’s $50 weekend pass includes two nights of camping or bunkhouse accommodations, all shuttles, musical performances and food, and a free event T-Shirt while supplies last.

For campsite reservations, a full schedule of events and more information about the festival visit www.nolifest.com or the NoliFest page on Facebook.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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