For the third year in a row, USA Raft’s Nolifest has burst open the whitewater SUP season in the United States with a fun smoky mountain style river festival on one of the last free flowing rivers in the Southeastern United States. The Friday through Sunday festival features live music, vendors, food trucks, a demo pond for trying out new Hala boards, and lots of great shuttle service to both the Nolichucky Gorge and the lower Nolichucky.

The great crew at USA Raft knows how to throw a river festival and their was something for everyone, even those who prefer trail running, hiking, one wheeling, fishing or other riverside activities. SUP Yoga was featured every morning just as the sun burned off the morning fog in the beautiful Nolichucky Valley. Saturday night featured paddler musicians showing off their other crafts including a DJ set by Angel on the stage followed by Brushfire Stankgrass busting out a bluegrass infused jammy session to get all the mountain people dancing.

On Sunday the Hala Gear team competed in the Whitewater SUP race and took people down the Nolichucky Gorge for their first time. Congrats to John Blackshire and Melanie Hames for taking 1st place in the downriver SUP race. Make sure to mark you calendars and pray for rain every year for this river festival on the near the mountainous border of Tennessee and North Carolina in March.

From more information about Nolifest visit Stayed tuned for more Hala Gear Southeast event coverage from team rider Jack Nelson.  HALA!

Photos: Deb Stipa

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