Monday, October 8, 2012

Guest Appreciation Festival 2012: Recap

Cascades, Cascades, Cascades
Some paddlers described it as pure chaos, or even a circus, but the Cascades release was definitely one of the biggest highlights during GAF weekend.  Providing entertainment, personal "first D’s" and what seemed like endless whitewater laps for some, the Cascades were on a-whole-'nother level this weekend.

Hunt Jennings (Yellow) and Matt Anger (Blue) during one of their thirty laps down the Cascades
Being the first recreational release for the Upper Nantahala and Cascades, this past weekend felt like Christmas for many. Boaters came from all over the region to paddle this section of river that is usually dependent on rain fall.

Many of you have requested the photos and video from the release so here they are! To find your photo click here and enjoy!

On Saturday night, The Pourover Pub hosted everyone to watch the Carnage Video from the Saturday release. If you happened to miss it, you can witness some of the chaos for yourself here:

NOC would like to thank everyone who helped with the safety of both spectators and paddlers on the Upper and Cascades during the event. With the extra efforts put in by many, the majority of the release went very smoothly.

Mini Music Festival
With 5 bands performing at GAF, NOC campus felt like a mini music festival!  From mid-afternoon to the wee hours of the night, guests were dancing on the banks of the Nantahala River. The bands fueled the crowd for hours resulting in smiles, laughs and very unique dance moves.

After the live music, the GAF attendees took over the stage during the Ride Garden Dance Party. After a day full of paddling it's amazing so many folks had multiple hours of dancing in them!

And of Course, The Gear Sale
With the combined 30 vendors, 15 private vendors and the Outfitter's Store sales, there were TONS of great deals from this weekend.  If you were looking for boats, gear, or accessories, hopefully you found it in the Marketplace.

The Marketplace was buzzing with energy during GAF.  The atmosphere was full of guests interacting and sharing memories, stories and advice.  It was a great chance to learn about folks interested in similar activities and meet some all around good people!

Take a look at some scenes from GAF 2012 here:

These are just a few highlights from GAF 2012, some others include: learning from Steve Longnecker's birds of prey, wilderness fire starting clinics, stories from Ms. Connie Regan-Blake and much more.  Let us know what you liked the most! GAF 2013 is just around the bend.

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