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Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:21

Celebrate Halloween and fall at NOC

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Nantahala Outdoor Center’s annual NOCtoberfest event will celebrate leaf season in the Smokies from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, at NOC. 

The event features contests, pumpkin painting, live music and prizes for all ages — as well as the much-anticipated NOC Great Pumpkin Pursuit. The Pumpkin Pursuit is a free-for-all dash through Nantahala Falls in which more than 400 numbered pumpkins are tossed throughout the river’s grand finale rapid as 75-plus paddlers frantically dash to collect as many of the bobbing pumpkins as possible. 

Registration for the event is noon to 2 p.m. at NOC’s Big Wesser BBQ, and paddlers start going through the falls at 2:30 p.m. But the event takes only minutes to play out, so spectators should get there early. 

NOCtoberfest has plenty more to it, though. NOC will supply pumpkins and materials to decorate and carve them, and every child will win a prize after presenting the finished product to a judging panel. A costume contest will include prizes for kids and couples categories, as well as for Most in Character and Scariest. Games such as a cornhole tournament and egg race will be part of the event, and live music at Big Wesser BBQ — as well as a bonfire with s’mores included — will keep NOCtoberfest festive. 

Free. A complete schedule is online at

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