The 5th annual NoliFest will be a high water event to remember for the ages! The festival was scheduled during Easter weekend this year and it was more reminiscent of Noah’s flood. Heavy rain totaling 2-3” fell regionally most of Good Friday and the Nolichucky River rose to +40,000 CFS by late Friday evening. A section of the road to USA Raft was covered by the flooding river just before 5:00 PM on Friday and the river did not recede till mid-morning Saturday. This made for a true adventure for festival goers trying to get to NoliFest from Chestoa on a cliff goat path hike-in route around the railroad bridge. Then light rain continued on and off on Saturday keeping the river well above 10K CFS all day.
River trip shuttles were all switched to high water Lower Nolichucky runs on Saturday out of safety concerns and good times were had in the big brown town flows. Great bands, who endured the elements to get to the site, and good food where still enjoyed at this event!
We had to postpone the gorge GO FAST event called #BeatNightFall due to the extreme high water flows and safety concerns. #safeissexy We have rescheduled #BeatNightFall for Friday evening of May 17, 2019 to continue the NoliFest fun: https://www.facebook.com/events/575164853003865/
The Jackson Action Wagon got to the festival before the road flooded on Friday, but the demo event was cancelled out of high water safety concerns also. Sorry to festival goers who wanted to try out a new JK design, but the river levels were not conducive to try out a new boat. It was still productive talking shop with folks about their JK questions and sizing.
Congrats to Siri Datar Singh Khalsa who was the lucky winner of the Jackson Kayak Antix the J.A.W. raffled off during the event!!
Despite the much lower turn out than usual for this festival, we ended up raising a total of $530 in the raffle. All the proceeds will go directly to Camp Bays Mountain to help them FINISH STRONG – https://www.facebook.com/CampBaysMountain/videos/404301353452557/ – on their capital campaign.
A huge thanks goes out to Matt Moses and his USA Raft/Mountain River Guides crew who gave it their all to make NoliFest the best it could be with the weather and river conditions we were dealt this year! They are true river heroes to our local community!!