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Go Outside Festival returns to Roanoke

Published On: Oct 16 2013 06:03:10 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 16 2013 06:04:14 AM EDT

The GO FEST, presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, transforms the Rivers Edge Sports Complex on Reserve Avenue into a fall harvest of races, demos and clinics, outdoor gear, vendors, live music, free camping, kids’ activities, environmental education and more.

“This isn’t your ordinary sit-in-your-seat kind of event,” says Pete Eshelman, director of outdoor branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership, which partners with Roanoke Parks and Recreation for the annual event. “This is a chance to walk around, touch gear, try stuff out and above all have fun in our beautiful surroundings. We encourage people to pitch a tent, bring your dog on a leash, listen to great music, sample craft beer, pick up some new gear and a whole lot more.”

New this year – the Big Air Bag. It’s a giant air-filled cushion that cradles those who jump off a platform for a brief moment of gravity-tugging thrills.

Returning this year is the popular Subaru Ultimate Air Dog show, where dogs compete for the longest leaps into a pool.

This year’s music lineup includes the Hackensack Boys. With feet firmly planted in the old-time song tradition, hands soiled by the dirt of rock n’ roll and eyes fixed steadily on the future of real country music, the band is among the most exciting groups charting new territory in today’s diverse Americana music scene.

Admission to everything except competitive events is free.

GO FEST features a host of outdoor activities, both competitive and non-competitive, including professional athletes, guided hikes and rides, trail runs, equipment demos, mountain bike races, gear sales, disc golf, geocache trail and lots more.

Other highlights include:

·         Slacklining

·         Jeff Lenosky bike trial demo

·         Starr Hill beer garden

·         River Rock climbing wall

·         Fly-fishing casting pool

·         Into the Darkness Night trail run

·         Pro Town BMX Demo

·         Huffy Bike Toss

·         Red Bull Film Festival

·         UnderDog Pixie Cross

·         GO Cross Cyclocross Race

·         Stand-up paddle board demo

·         Kid Zone with child-friendly activities.

While at GO Fest, expect to see such brands as Big Agnes, Granite Gear, Bliss Stick Kayaks, Giant Bicycles, Salsa Cycles, Klean Kanteen, Salomon, Gibbon Slacklines, Mountain Khakis, Ruffwear, Gerber, Orvis, Camping Work, ENO Hammocks, Yakima, and Avex Water Bottles.

Dogs are allowed to participate throughout the weekend providing they’re on leashes.

GO Fest is open Friday from 5-10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Visitors can come and go as they please. Camping is free.

For more information on Go Fest, click here.