Welcome to Gauley Fest, the paddling worlds biggest party! Started in 1983 to celebrate the derailment of a hydro-electric project that would have disrupted whitewater flows on the Gauley, Gauley Fest has grown to become the largest river festival in the world, posting attendance numbers of over 5,000 people in 2002.
The event focuses on bringing people to the area to enjoy a weekend of outdoor activities while showcasing whitewater paddlesports and raising funds and membership for American Whitewater. The festival is a three-day event, with the main activities taking place on Saturday night. Expect the festival site to be bustling throughout the weekend with food, vendors, and activities for paddlesport and non-paddlesport enthusiasts of all ages.
The festival will feature live entertainment, a whitewater marketplace, beer, and a silent auction where you can pick up some awesome outdoor gear. The Gauley River Festival is a critical fundraiser for American Whitewater and is our largest fundraising event.
All proceeds from the festival support American Whitewaters conservation and access work throughout the Southeast. Come out and join us for a weekend of great paddling, exciting competitions, live entertainment, and the infamous silent auction.