Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2013 NOC Events Preview

Let’s not beat about the bush: the biggest thing going on at NOC this year is the 2013 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships. Top freestylers from around the world will be coming right here, to the Nantahala Gorge, to put years of training to the test and show us their best moves. Last year’s ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup Final on the Nantahala saw record-breaking rides in both the men’s and women’s K1 classes, and the premier of a state-of-the-art digital scoring system that got the crowd jazzed up like never before. This year, we’re pulling out all the stops for a first-of-its kind outdoor festival here in Western North Carolina.

Spectators line the banks during the 2012 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup

What to expect: 300 top whitewater athletes from around the world. Appalachian Heritage Expo with artisan demonstrations of regional folk crafts, traditional Cherokee tribal dances, fun hands-on educational activities for kids, great live music, and plenty of contests, demos and games to get you moving and laughing, even if you don’t know how to do a Space Godzilla.

Curious? Check out the USA Canoe/Kayak Freestyle Team Trials this April 26-28 for a sneak preview as America’s best vie for their chance to represent their country at the Worlds this September. Enjoy a real Appalachian hoedown at NOC's Spring Fling with craft fair, free film screenings by the Reel Paddling Film Festival, kids' activities, Roller Derby demos, and a special release of the Cascades & Upper Nantahala.

Emily Jackson rides the feature at the 2012 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup

For those of you who want to get in on the action, the Nantahala Racing Club will be putting on two slalom races this spring – the NRC Glacier Breaker and Bank of America Whitewater US Open. Come out to cruise down the course with some of the best slalom paddlers in the world, or just to cheer them on. NRC is also hosting two youth-specific slalom events in 2013, the NRC Youth Regional Team Qualifier and the NRC Southeastern Youth Championships - a great time to get your little ones out having fun on the water with kids their own age.

 Kids being kids at a Canoe Club Challenge

You won’t want to miss the Canoe Club Challenge, the nation’s most popular citizen’s whitewater race. The whole family will enjoy this fun, low-pressure excuse to splash around in the Nantahala on a hot summer day. Camaraderie, good-natured competition and raffle prizes are followed by live music at Slow Joe’s Café / Pourover Pub.

Other events we’re excited about:  
 The AT Founder's Bridge Festival caters to thru-hikers and day-trippers alike.

  • NOC’s Summer Music Series: Memorial Day through GAF weekend, enjoy live music, cold brews and good company at Slow Joe’s Café / Pourover Pub following a day on the river or the trail.
 Dirty Bourbon River Show plays the Pourover Pub in 2012
  • We're always excited about thanking our guests for a great season! Come out to NOC's Guest Appreciation Festival, September 28-30 for blow-out gear sales, live music, beer specials, dance parties, bicycle pump-track, rock tower, story-telling, kids' activities, GAF Gates Race & World Kayak freestyle competitions, and a bounce house!
Bikers, kayakers, hikers and lovers of good times enjoy a GAF afternoon at Slow Joe's Cafe
  • NOCtoberfest! This October, we’ll be serving seasonal brews in a German-style beer garden by the river while we jam out to the Autumn Live Music Series. On the 26th, don’t miss our Halloween celebration, including the Great Pumpkin Pursuit, costume contests and kids’ activities.
Kids show off their creations at NOCtoberfest 2012