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November 19, 2017  //  3:15AM EST   
 
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West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater
West Virginia White Water Rafting - WV Whitewater


 
Fairs and Festivals

Something for Everyone in Whitewater Country
From small-town fairs to world-renowned festivals and special events, West Virginia offers something new every week of the year. Many special events are devoted specifically to the state's rivers and water sports, making a perfect centerpiece for your whitewater adventure. But regardless of the season or the reason, there's always something exciting happening nearby.

Individual outfitters stage numerous special events throughout the season, so be sure to check their calendars to see what's happening closest to home during your visit. In the meantime, here's a sampling of some of the industry-wide and statewide events that annually draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to West Virginia whitewater country:


Spring into Action
In May, the annual Cheat River Festival in Albright helps kick off the season with an outdoor festival featuring bluegrass, folk, country, Celtic and rock 'n roll music. Food stands and art and crafts stalls line the streets of this picturesque river town, with special areas for the kids and conservation-related activities. This year's festival will be held May 1.

June brings the annual Captain Thurmond's Challenge, featuring a triathlon that encompasses cycling, kayaking and running along the New River. World-class competitors take part in the expert division, while the amateur competition lets everyone take part in the fun. The event, held this year on June 16, is centered in the historic railroad town of Thurmond, which comes alive with games, amusements and special events accompanying the races.

Just five days later comes Whitewater Wednesday, an annual New River community event that raises money for scholarships and also helps showcase West Virginia whitewater to the national and world travel industries. The day-long celebration June 21 combines rafting with a catered industry reception and live musical entertainment. Check your favorite outfitter sites for associated special events.


Summertime Fun
Things heat up in July, starting with a host of special events keyed to the July 4 holiday and continuing throughout the month. Families in particular will want to check out West Virginia's Biggest July 4th Parade, held each year at scenic Alderson along the beautiful Greenbrier River. Less than an hour from southern West Virginia rafting centers, the three-hour parade draws entrants from across the state and beyond. Nationally known entertainment under the stars caps the day-long fun.

July 27-30 offer more ways to get your feet wet, at the annual Summersville Lake Festival. In the heart of southern West Virginia whitewater country, this event offers three days of concerts, races, pageants and an "anything that floats" race, all centered around West Virginia's largest recreational lake.

July 30 also marks the start of the West Virginia Water Festival along the New River in Hinton, a week-long series of races, parades, fireworks, crafts, contests and more. Events take place along the river and also scenic Bluestone Lake.

More family fun is available in August, with a day at the annual West Virginia State Fair in Fairlea making the perfect complement to a whitewater excursion. This year's fair begins Aug. 11 and runs through the 19th. Less than an hour from southern West Virginia rafting centers, the fair annually attracts more than 300,000 visitors for a combination of rides, exhibits and nationally known entertainment each night.

Autumn Spectaculars
Mention September to any whitewater enthusiast, and the words that immediately come to mind are Gauley Season! Annual releases from the Summersville Dam turn the Gauley River into a raging torrent of whitewater action, the ultimate in rafting adventure. Not for the faint of heart, the Upper Gauley each year attracts hard-core rafters and kayakers from around the world who are eager to take on the challenge. The Lower Gauley, meanwhile, is at its peak as a complete whitewater experience, from scenic pools to thunderous Class V action.

Scheduled releases this year begin Sept. 8 and run Friday through Monday through Oct. 15.

The Gauley River Festival on Sept. 16 in Summersville helps start things out with a bang. Known far and wide as the "Granddaddy of River Festivals," it features the famous "Gauley Mall" of paddling gear and adventure trip bargains, a silent auction and the latest paddling videos provided by the National Paddling Film Festival.

October is highlighted by the world-famous Bridge Day Festival, where B.A.S.E jumpers parachute off the world's largest single-arch steel bridge into the New River more than 700 feet below. A complete festival is held atop the spectacular New River Gorge Bridge, as rafters, rappellers and climbers below take in all the action. Bridge Day, held this year on Oct. 21, is West Virginia's biggest festival, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from across the East and beyond.



 
 
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