Nothing brings humans together like the great outdoors. This past weekend was our first time in Roanoke, Va. and our first time at the Roanoke Go Outside Festival (GO Fest). We rode our bikes, saw old friends, made new friends, ate plenty of tasty food, and soaked up everything that Roanoke and GO Fest have to offer. Long story short – we’ll be back.On Thursday we teamed up with Roanoke Mountain Adventures for a group mountain bike ride up to the top of Mill Mountain right in the heart of Roanoke. It was a rainy evening, but nobody seemed to notice. With the days getting shorter we were guided on a quick ten-mile ride up to “The Star” and back to the RMA shop for a beer. HUGE thanks to RMA for showing us around and helping us out with some new decorations for our bikes. If you are in the Roanoke area, make sure you visit their shop for guided trips, rentals and more.With 30,000 attendees and over 125 activities, GO Fest has been growing every year since it’s inception in 2011, and it’s easy to see why. There’s literally something for everyone. Bike demos from some of the best in the business? Yep. Free shuttles to the top of Mill Mountain? You know it. Lumber Jack Competitions? Absolutely. GO Fest not only celebrates the outdoor lifestyle but it encourages the crowd to get involved. Whether that means trying out a SUP for your first time, enjoying the children’s superhero race, tasting a beer from the local homebrew club, taking part in a fly fishing demo, or climbing the rock walls, the idea is to get out, be active, and have fun.Once the sun goes down at GO fest, the family-friendly festival starts to take on a different feel. The bands start jamming, the beer flows like wine, and the line for the silent disco starts to build. Suddenly you start to feel like you’ve stepped into a full-blown music festival. The festival offers onsite camping so people can get their groove on and not have to worry about venturing too far at the end of the night.
With the central location of the festival, right off of the greenway, GO Fest also makes it easy to bike in and see the town. We made a habit of getting out before the festival started for the day, exploring a little bit, and grabbing some morning fuel.
Even though GO Fest is one of the larger events that we attend in the fall, it still felt like a small community. Everyone seemed to know everyone. We got to hang out with all of our old vendor friends and we were happy to make some new ones as well. One of our favorite things about working festivals is making new friends with our neighbors. Big shoutout to crew under the Adidas tent who spent the weekend taking donations for the Access Fund and tolerating Roxy’s aggressive use of our megaphone during our daily raffles.
We’ve said it before but one of our favorite parts of the job is getting to make new friends all across the country. When we started in the spring we couldn’t help but feel a little lonely out here thousands of miles away from home. Now, not a day goes by where we don’t run into one of our new friends. Up next we’re back in Fayetteville, West Virgina for Bridge Day. It’s our final festival of the year so if you are in the area stop by our booth on the bridge and say hey. We’d love to meet you!
As with every event we attend, we will be repping our sponsors and their awesome gear! You can check out first hand what we use on the road to live outside and play, including gear from La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, RovR Products, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, LifeStraw, and Lowe Alpine.