This might just be our favorite time of year here at Dirt Bag Paddlers. It’s a time of celebration and running classic whitewater with our friends from all over the country, as Admins and homies gather together from Wisconsin, Colorado, Maine, Tennessee, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and more in West By God… FOR GAULEY FEST! Bring it ON!!
If you haven’t paddled the Gauley… Well, no video does it justice. Words and photos are wholly inadequate, yet still we who have paddled and Wallaced there all still try to bring it to life for those who are uninitiated. We can SOMEWHAT describe it to other Dirtbags… But to the 99% of folks who will never paddle… FORGET IT. Outside the realm of comprehension.
There’s also the greatest whitewater party in America, Gauley Fest! Put on by American Whitewater in Summersville, WV, the purpose of festival is best described on the AW site: “All proceeds from the festival support American Whitewater’s river conservation and access works throughout the nation. Started in 1983 to celebrate the derailment of a hydro-electric project that would have disrupted the flows on the Gauley River, Gauley Fest has grown to become the largest paddling festival in the world.”
We at DBP are STOKED to be hosting the DIRTBAG DJ DANCEPARTY Friday night on the Main Stage at the Fest! For years this has been the quieter night on the fairgrounds, so last year we blew up the joint with an impromptu party around the firepit that made DBP infamous. So this year our friends at AW hooked up the offer after word got out that we had invited our friends The Role Models, Terrence Young and Allan Rockhouse, to come and throw down! We’ll have the kegs of PBR tapped and rolling! Wear your crazy costume, LET’S PARTY!
We’ve also got some great contests going on this month. First, we are wrapping up the #ULTIMATEDIRTBAGSUMMER video contest this FRIDAY with an article here in DBP MAGAZINE ONLINE, announcing the winner, and also providing links and a small bio of all the finalists, explaining about their local scenes and what it means to them to be “Dirtbag”. There are entries from all over the World! And the prize package is full of stickers from friends from all over the community, as well as some kickass gear from Cascade Outfitters! There are a pair of sunglass retainers (in case you WALLACE, and WALLACE again!), a collapsible river sink, a stainless 50/50 growler, and two koozies (who likes to drink alone?) There’s also a pair of Gnar Fairies decals, to go along with a DBP Team tee-shirt and a PFD patch!
We are also REALLY STOKED about these two awards: DBQueen of OHIOPYLE, and DBQueen of WEST VIRGINIA. We are looking for nominees from all if you, who will be present at our events at Ohiopyle and the party at Gauley Fest to receive their prizes in person. For more details on the parties check our Events on the Dirt Bag Paddlers Facebook page (the Ohiopyle pub crawl goes down the Saturday before Gauley Fest).
What are we looking for? Kickass local ladies who love the River, and embody the lifestyle, putting it all out there and paddling with passion and purpose. How do you nominate your favorite DBQ? Post em to the FB page! What will they win? Some awesome stuff! including: a growler, koozie, and chums from Cascade Outfitters; a stack of cool stickers, a crown, a DBP WALLACE female tee, a DBQ ballcap, DBP decals and PFD patch; a Teeshirt and decals from the Gnar Fairies (Lee Turner will be joining us on stage at Gauley Fest!); and COOLEST OF ALL a custom river map (one Lower Yough, one Upper Gauley) created for the occasion by our friend Mika Kobs of Whitewater Wood Art!!! Yeah, we are STOKED! Get those nominees entered ASAP! The Admins will be selecting the winner.
We’ve also lined up some great stories about the Gauley River from esteemed authors Jay Young and Chris Preperato, along with DBP MAGAZINE ONLINE Editors Taz Riggs and yours truly, for this month’s Spotlight Feature. There are also some great interviews, so awesome that I can hardly keep it a secret… But you’ll have to wait to see! Stay tuned, September is going to be a great month! Cheers!!
Info on American Whitewater’s Gauley Fest-
Whitewater Wood Art-