Monday, August 31, 2009

It's just around the corner...

Excitement is filling the air as Smith River Fest 2009 draws closer. You see, this festival is not just about paddling. It is a celebration of everything recreational in Martinsville and Henry County.We have so much to offer here and now it is time to showcase our potential for being a recreational destination to the region.

The festivities begin this Friday with the First Annual Smith River Film Festival at the Rives Theater. At this event, guests will be treated to an entertaining night of bloopers, scenic beauty, natural wonders, and paddling at it's finest. While watching some of the clips you will swear you are right in the river too! Ticket sales for this event benefit a good cause and will support the development of a formal river access at Mitchell Road Bridge. If you've ever had to drag your boat up that steep hill, you know why we desperately need a designated river access there with a more gently sloped ramp! Henry County Parks & Recreation has six superb river access points along the Smith River and this will be a welcome addition to the list.

On Saturday, paddlers of all skill levels will have a chance to enjoy the river. A recreational release of water is planned (tentatively) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. thanks to Dominion Power and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Two area outfitters: Smith River Adventure Outfitters and Three Rivers Outfitters will offer guided paddle trips throughout the day. Experienced paddlers can enjoy a swift ride down class II/III rapids, while novice paddlers can try their hand at a Beginner Fun Float on a calmer stretch of river.  If paddling is not your thing, take a walk, jog, or bicycle ride on some of the 14 miles of trail available along the Smith River Trail System. Tech wizards can also enjoy the outdoors with more than 150 hidden treasures located in the area for Geocaching. Or you can cast away the rest of the afternoon enjoying fly fishing at it's finest catching world class Brown and Rainbow trout.

On Sunday, another recreational water release will be held tentatively from 8 a.m.- 12 p.m., after the river run come on over to the North Bassett River Access to participate in DRBA's Gear Swap. Bring your recreational gear to buy, sell, and trade. Several items have been registered so far including...

Paddling Gear:
-- Propulsion Technologies PTR 197 Kayak Paddle, blue blades with reinforced tips
-- Old Town Otter Sport Kayak
-- 16 foot Water Quest 3 Person Canoe
-- Kidder Adult Life Jacket, Blue/black
-- Water shoes size 9/10
-- Cross bars for overhead carrier, adjustable for small SUVs 44" and up, comes with keys
Camping Gear:
-- Alpine Peak Internal Frame Backpack, Maroon & Black
-- Assorted Camping Gear, Backpacks, & Sleeping Bags
Books & Guides:
-- Assorted books on canoeing and rock climbing
Biking Gear:
-- Swangman Heavy Duty Bike Rack, attaches to trailer hitch and holds three bikes, comes with keys to securely lock it.

On Monday (Labor Day) the North Bassett River Access will be hopping all day with a recreational water release (tentative) from  8 a.m. to 12 p.m.and the main event of Smith River Fest complete with live music from Montana Young, Dean Smith, Amy Stewart, Joe Washrag Band, and Presha Point; food from Chick-fil-A, Hammertime, Food For Fun, and Papa's Pizza, informative booths, FREE bicycle riding lessons from Activate M-HC, a canoe/kayak race, and Beginner Fun Floats. Drop your boats off at Philpott River Access, drive downstream to park and enjoy a FREE shuttle provided by Henry County Parks & Recreation.

It's going to be a great weekend. We hope to see you there! For more information checkout or call 276-634-2545.

No comments: