07 Gauley River Festival presented by Subaru Wrapup

posted September 25, 2007
by Ben Van Camp

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What a weekend we had!  With a drought in firm place throughout most of the country paddlers flooded into the mountains of West Virginia this past weekend for the 2007 American Whitewater Gauley River Festival presented by Subaru.  Paddlers were treated to warm sun filled days and blue skies overhead, which many people will tell you is a rare treat for running the Gauley.


The festival is a huge fundraiser for American Whitewater’s stewardship work. In addition to AW’s largest fundraiser the Gauley Festival also hosts the largest membership drive with just fewer than 400 memberships taken at the event.  A big thank you to Clif Bar, Dagger Kayaks, Jackson Kayak, Kayak Session, KEEN, Kokatat, Mion Footwear, NRS, Outdoor Play, Pyranha Kayaks, and Wave Sport for contributing to this year’s Gauley Festival membership drive.


Making the festival happen was an incredible group of volunteers who set the festival up, ran it smoothly, and helped pack things away in record time.  A big thank you to Stacey Johnson from Hood River, OR for coordinating all the volunteers and to Nantahala Outdoor Center for providing us a huge crew to help break the festival down!


Gauley Festival is a chance to paddle some classic whitewater and connect with old friends. The Half Time String Band was a huge help playing for hours on both Friday and Saturday night.   Bucktown Kick Back was new to the Gauley Festival this year and did a great job of keeping the party rolling until the wee hours.  But the one man show of Takumi Kato the Japanese Drummer really stole the show on both Friday and Saturday night.


No river festival would be complete without some great on water activities and this year we had the 4th Wave Sport Open, which included a mass start Pillow Rock Race.  AW would also like to thank Anna Levesque from Girls at Play, North American River Runner, and Kokatat for hosting the Ladies on the Lower G which raised money for AW’s River Stewardship efforts.


At this year’s Gauley Festival American Whitewater and Wave Sport presented the Steward of the Year Award to Barry Adams of Pittsburgh, PA. Adams is the second recipient of the annual river stewardship achievement award that recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to river access, conservation, and/or safety on behalf of American Whitewater. Along with the recognition Adams was awarded a Wave Sport boat of his choice.


We would like to thank all those who attended the fest, the volunteers, the vendors, and Nicholas County Park for helping us host such an important event!


American Whitewater is in the process of conducting an economic impact study of Gauley Fest so that we can help educate the local community on the benefits of adventure recreation and the Gauley River. Please see link below.


If you attended the event please take a moment and help American Whitewater out by completing this economic impact survey at:


http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=oMPmdbPR2l63iZ7YaYX3pw_3d_3d


Ben VanCamp
49 Johnston Blvd
Asheville, NC 28806
Phone: 828-713-5825


Associated News

Associated Projects

  • Gauley River (WV)
    For many years AW has worked on the protection of this river and advocated for public access.