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Update on American Whitewater Events For 2021

Posted: 07/20/2021
By: Evan Stafford

It’s been a tricky spring to plan events for American Whitewater but we are super excited to get back out on the water with you and to see you in person at a river in your region! All of our events will have a different flavor this year, but most importantly there will be water in the rivers and there will be paddlers enjoying themselves. Read on for the most current information on the Deerfield Fest, Gore Fest, Feather Fest, and Gauley Fest. 


Deerfield Fest

Better late than never! Deerfield Fest, an annual celebration of whitewater paddling on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts, has been rescheduled for the September 11 and 12 weekend at Berkshire East ski area in Charlemont. As in past years, Deerfield Fest will bring together the paddling community on the river followed by an evening of music, dance, art, food (and beer), vendors, and a silent auction to benefit American Whitewater’s river stewardship in the region. This new festival format will highlight the outdoor recreation opportunities in the Charlemont area. Don’t forget to renew your AW membership!


Gore Fest

The Gore Race is on! After a year of virtual events, we are ready to get out and go fast. We are opting out of a big in-person bash this year but will still host our on water competitions. The classic downriver races through Gore Canyon are scheduled for August 28 and modified freestyle and SUP events are TBD. There will be no after party or camping organized at Rancho del Rio as in past years. All racers MUST register online - registration forms forthcoming. Sign up if you are feeling even a little bit smooth and speedy. We are really excited to see you on the water this August and to celebrate all that the Upper Colorado River has to offer with a modified, but authentic race event. Please stay tuned for more event information in the coming weeks.


Gauley Fest

Gauley Fest is about community. We gather each year to celebrate this incredible, whitewater-rich river every fall and this year, we are taking the festival back to its roots. American Whitewater will host a series of riverside events that will encourage paddlers to spend more time in this special place, enjoying a resource that truly has shaped the region and paddlers alike.

Earlier this year, after serious consideration and deliberation, the Gauley Fest event team made the difficult decision to postpone a full-blown Gauley Fest at the Veterans Memorial Park until September 2022. Gauley Fest takes an incredible amount of planning and coordination and because of the uncertainty this spring we felt we would be unable to plan and execute the festival as we’ve done in recent years. We spent all of our efforts over the last year with a laser focus on river stewardship issues and simply did not have the planning window that it takes to pull off a major event like Gauley Fest in 2021.

You’ll still see us and be able to celebrate with us riverside in 2021! We are all looking forward to a Gauley Fest back at the park in 2022, but this year you can join AW staff and volunteers in celebrating the Gauley through a series of membership events that will take place during the normal festival weekend. Until then, we encourage you to enjoy the Gauley River and the whitewater releases that will happen as normally scheduled! Look for more information on our Grassroots Gauley 2021 and remember to #paddlewise.


Feather Fest

American Whitewater’s Annual Film Festival and Party is postponed until 2022 but we are keeping the Feather River Festival stoke alive by hosting the Tobin Downriver Race and the Rock Creek Slalom event on September 25 and 26. Details of the race and slalom are TBD but this year all participants will be required to register online and of course be an American Whitewater member. More good news - we will also be reviving the silent auction and raffle for great paddling gear and prizes. So mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information.

Evan Stafford

Fort Collins, CO 80524

Phone: 970-420-5378
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