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Mark Your Calendars: New River Festival Coming In June

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Cheat Fest? Been there. Gauley Fest? Done that. Second Annual New River Festival? Got it on the calendar for June 7-9.

The New River Clean Water Alliance is hosting the New River Festival at the New River Gorge National River on those dates. It will feature a Friday night film festival, Saturday live music, camping, a puppet parade, field trips, educational exhibits, community art, and food vendors.

All proceeds from the festival will benefit the nonprofit members of the Alliance in their efforts to clean the up the Lower New River and its tributaries. The festival location is the Old Rivers Campground, which is now the ACE Gear Shop, located off of Route 19 in Fayetteville. Community members, visitors and families are invited to participate in a wide variety of activities scheduled throughout the weekend.

The festival offers something for everyone. For a complete listing of events, go to this site.

Friday night, June 7, will feature the Reel Paddling Film Festival, sponsored by Bridge Brew Works and Pies and Pints. Saturday will kick off with a variety of field trip opportunities during the day.

Sign up for one of the field trips including a ranger-guided tour of Nuttallburg, one of the most intact examples of a coal mining complex in West Virginia. Enjoy mountain biking on IMBA-designed trails with experienced bicyclists from the New River Bicycle Union, or go kayaking with the pros for some advanced lessons in boating.

The Saturday evening festivities begin at 4 p.m. with a variety of exhibits, including information from local watershed organizations, local artisans hosted by the Fayetteville Arts Coalition, and food vendors from Joy Marr, Gumbos, Diogis and more.

A variety of kids' activities will be offered for younger and older "river kids" who will be provided educational passport activities. Bill Lepp, nationally recognized storyteller and comedian, will serve as the MC for the evening festivities that will kick off at 5:00 PM, including music with the New River Children's Symphony followed by the puppet parade and music by Fire Creek.

Bands will entertain throughout the evening, featuring Option 22, The Keg Dwellers, Dangermuffin and the blend of two worlds with Gangstagrass.

Community members, visitors, and families are invited to participate in this wide variety of activities scheduled throughout the weekend.

Join the New River Clean Water Alliance for the 2nd Annual New River Festival to celebrate the New River and efforts to keep it clean. Visit the website for a complete listing of ticket prices and camping packages or to participate in the event as a sponsor.

Early bird tickets purchased before May 1 are $20 and include the Friday evening Reel Paddling Film Festival.

To reach the festival, from Beckley, West Virginia, take Highway 19 to Fayetteville. Go through the light at Court Street (Hwy 16) and take your next left onto Fayette Station Road (County Route 82). From Summersville, take a right onto Fayette Station Road, just after you cross the New River Gorge Bridge.

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