• Jenna Gribble

Tuck Fest: 3 Days Of Outdoor Fun You Don't Want To Miss

The US National Whitewater Center's annual Tuck Fest makes its return this weekend (Fri-Sun), and it’s an event I never miss. Here’s why:

(1) I think we can all agree this was a rough winter. I kept begging for spring and she is finally here, so what better excuse than to pile the kids and dogs in the car and bring your quilts and lawn chairs and come cop a squat and be entertained?

No kids, no dogs? Even better, grab those friends that have been hibernating and bring them out for some good ol’ fashioned outdoor family fun. A little sun and walking will do them good.

(2) 5Ks and other things that make your heart beat. I think we can all use a little cardio. It’s that time of year when you need to get your blood flowing and Tuck Fest offers a 5K, half marathon and a kids scavenger hunt and obstacle challenge. I have even heard FlyBarre is doing a free 45-min body sculpting class at 9 a.m. Saturday. Get on that!

(3) Three days of FREE Live Music. FREE! Sitting by the rapids while rafters and kayakers paddle by, zip liners glide overhead and stand up paddle boarders go by. Add a local ice cold brew and it sounds like a slice of heaven to me.

This year’s lineup is pretty solid. I am excited to see Sugar and The High Low’s, His Golden Messenger and of course JJ Grey and Mofro. There is something for everyone.

(4) I am 100% a native Charlottean so anything that is going to support my community, where do I sign up? Tuck Fest has an area called Tent City where local business and non-profits can set up. Last year I attended all three days and volunteered with Surfrider Charlotte, a non-profit grassroots environmental organization dedicated to cleaning up and protecting the world’s oceans. This year Surfrider will be doing a trail clean up where volunteers can take part in collecting trash.

I also love that the local breweries have teamed up with the Whitewater Center and you can buy local beer.

(5) The stunt shows and ultimate dog jumping competitions. Yeah I am not sure why this is not advertised more. The dog jumping contest is pretty impressive. All dogs are invited and the dog that can jump the furthest off the dock is crowned the champ.

Don’t get me wrong, Jeff Lenosky, the bicycle stunt guy, is pretty awesome. I caught a few of his shows last year; get there early because unless he is jumping up on picnic tables (which he does), it’s hard to see. Jeff will be doing 2 shows all 3 days. You will be impressed. Trust me, I was and it takes a lot to impress me.

Bonus! So what’s with the name “Tuck Fest?” It actually comes from the historical landmark the Tuckaseegee Ford and Trail, located at the USNWC. The Ford is the first known crossing point along the Catawba River traveled by Native Americans and European settlers. The Ford became a crucial crossing during and after the Revolutionary War.

One last teaser

Enjoy! Stop by the Surfrider booth and say hi!

#StayTunedQC #tuckfest #USNWC #supportlocal #free #festival #outdoors #yoga #whitewaterraftin #ropescourse #activites #biketricks #usnwctuckfest

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