NOC honors guests with free festival

Nantahala Outdoor Center’s popular Guest Appreciation Festival begins Friday, Sept. 23, and continues through the weekend, offering free attractions, live music and entertainment.

The festival, NOC’s way of thanking the company’s guests at the end of the primary paddlesports season, is one of the most popular outdoor lifestyle gatherings in the

Southeast, attracting more than 5,000 visitors.

The 2011 show will feature a new headlining act on Saturday: the King BMX stunt show — a high-flying, dynamic performance. Show performers will use ramps to perform aerial tricks as well as impressive ground-based maneuvers.

This year’s event also features live music performances from five different musical acts appealing to varied musical tastes. Traditionalists will enjoy the old-time Appalachian sounds of Blue Eyed Girl and the hard-driving string music of the Freighthoppers. Modern music fans will hear “high country reggae” from Chalwa, R&B and Soul from the Secret B-Sides and bluegrass, jazz and jam fusion from Brushfire Stankgrass.

Free attractions include rock climbing, storytelling, an interactive mountain bike pump track, educational live animal exhibitions, paddling competitions, outdoor skill demonstrations, face painting, and craft workshops.

The annual Used Gear Sale, where the company sells off its rafting, kayaking and canoeing supplies from the season also is scheduled. Adjacent to this, the Used Gear Sale is a used gear marketplace where enthusiasts buy, sell and trade their gear with other enthusiasts.

NOC’s Outfitter’s Store will also be liquidating its 2011 demo fleet of whitewater and flatwater kayaks, as well as rental mountain bikes.

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