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Smith River Fest offers boat, mud racing

Published On: Aug 08 2014 10:58:08 AM EDT   Updated On: Aug 08 2014 11:28:35 AM EDT

If you love paddling the river, the Smith River Fest event is the right one for you. The festival in Henry County kicks off Saturday morning, rain or shine.


Whether you bring a canoe, kayak, paddle board or your own feet, there are several races you can enter during Saturday's Smith River Fest.

The event is located at the Smith River Sports Complex on 1000 Irisburg Road in Axton.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., those attending can enter a river race or mud race, listen to live music and browse craft vendor booths. There are different racing categories, depending on the boat used and age group.

Jennifer Doss, tourism director for Martinsville-Henry County Tourism Division, says in previous years, thousands of people have come to the event from 14 different states.

"There are just so many opportunities, and just the scenic beauty here is such a wonderful, inviting place to come out and enjoy the outdoors," Doss said.

She says it's a great opportunity for those who aren't familiar with outdoor recreation to come and try it out.

"By coming outside and being familiar, learn how to canoe, kayak, hike, bike and just appreciate the outdoors, they're in turn going to learn to have a better appreciation for our environment and take care of it," Doss said.

The Helgramite Mud Run 5K is scheduled at 2 p.m. More than 300 people have registered for the race in years past. The course has 10 mud pits and 18 obstacles.

Pets are welcome on and off the river. The event will go on, rain or shine.

For the full schedule of events, click here.