The Roanoke GO Outside Festival is an annual celebration of the incredible outdoor culture of the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
The event has been recognized by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine as one of the best festivals in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it’s a great reason to visit the region.
It’s held at the River’s Edge Sports Complex near Downtown Roanoke and at the base of Mill Mountain, making it only a few miles away from the Blue Ridge Parkway. This year’s festival takes place from Friday, October 14 through Sunday, October 16.
The Anthem GO Outside Festival, also simply known as “Go Fest,” features three action-packed days of events, demonstrations, activities, live music and much more that offer locals and visitors the chance to experience the unbelievable assortment of outdoor recreation opportunities and resources in this region.
Between trying something new, watching the pros, showing off your skills, and meeting others who share a passion for the outdoors, you’ll be amazed at everything you find at this free, family-friendly festival.
Check out the following video to get a better idea of the atmosphere!
While this is only a small sample of the activities you’ll find at this year’s Go Fest, here is a guide to 10 things you have to check out!
1. Ultimate Air Dogs
How could you not love watching dogs fly?! The Ultimate Air Dogs show is one of Go Fest’s most popular attractions as some of the country’s premier “dock jumping” dogs will be in attendance. It’s great fun for the dogs, owners, and the crowd that watches in amazement as some participants make jumps of over 25 feet!
2. Pro Town BMX Stunt Show
It’s bikes and big air at the Pro Town BMX Stunt Show! The stunt team features professional bikers who have participated in X Games, Gravity Games, and other extreme sports events, and they put on a dazzling show of flips, spins, jumps and other acrobatic moves.
3. Lumberjack Show
You’ve never had as much fun watching people cut up trees as you will watching the Keen Timberworks Lumberjack Show. It’s a combination of ax-swinging, log-rolling, tree-climbing action that showcases the incredible strength of these “lumbersexual” lumberjacks.
4. Live Music!
The Cox Live Music Stage will be jamming with great live music throughout the festival, thanks to Across the Way Productions, the organizers of the iconic FloydFest music festival in the region. This year’s Go Fest will include performances by Urban Soil, Rebekah Todd & The Odyssey, Dale and the Z Dubs, and a headline show by Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe on Saturday night. So much awesome music and it’s all FREE!
5. Wild Gear Chase
Come see why the Wild Gear Chase was named the Best Adventure Race by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine in its 2016 Best of the Blue Ridge awards. Sponsored by Walkabout Outfitter, this is an exciting event where participants race to get to as many checkpoints as possible within two hours that are all located within two miles of the festival. Then, racers are ranked based on points and time and lined up accordingly in front of the gear tent, where everyone comes away with a unique piece of outdoor gear!
6. Superhero Race
Put on your favorite superhero costume and take part in this 5K fun run where adults, dogs, and kids are all encouraged to participate! It’s a race where heroes of all running and walking abilities are invited, and all proceeds go to support the Family Promise of Greater Roanoke. Prizes will be awarded based on the results of the race, as well as team themes, costumes, and more. Register here.
7. River Rock Climbing Wall
Find out if you have what it takes to conquer the River Rock Climbing Wall! Go Fest features an adults-only wall and kids-only wall, helping to alleviate traffic jams on the walls of climbers of different skill levels. For those who are extra inclined for a challenge, you can also check out the new 8-foot-tall bouldering wall.
8. Yoga & Pure Barre Classes
Strike a pose and connect with your surroundings at the many yoga and Pure Barre classes that will be offered at this year’s festival. Yoga classes will be presented by the local, award-winning Uttara Yoga Studio, and the Pure Barre Pop Up provides a chance to experience one of the nation’s fastest growing exercise activities.
Whether you want to watch the pros perform stunts and jumps, or test your own abilities to keep your balance, the pros of Slackline Industries will be on hand and they’re always ready for a show. Maybe it will serve as the inspiration for your youngster to become a future gold medalist on the balance beam!
10. Pump Track
The Roanoke County Parks & Recreation and Roanoke Mountain Adventures Pump Track provides the opportunity for open sessions where all wheeled sports and riders can participate, including biking, skateboarding, big wheels, and roller blades! There will also be designated times where the track is used for contests and special events and you can check out the Roanoke Mountain Adventures booth for more information on joining the contests.
BONUS - Deschutes Beer!
We’re excited to have Deschutes Brewery as a new addition to the annual celebration that is Go Fest! The famous Deschutes “Woody” will be in attendance at the festival, and each day will feature a Reserve Beer Happy Hour, where one keg will be tapped with a special beer from the brewery’s private reserve collection that’s being shipped specially for Go Fest.
If you can’t make it to happy hour, don’t worry! Deschutes Brewery and other great beer from Virginia’s Blue Ridge will be available throughout the festival, including a special Go Fest Yourself Saison Ale from Parkway Brewing Company.
Need a place to stay? There are camping and glamping options available on the festival grounds, and you can also check our list of accommodations, including a special Go Fest discount offered at the Quality Inn Roanoke Airport. Don’t forget to take a look at our Calendar of Events to find out what else is happening in Virginia’s Blue Ridge this weekend!
For more information and a complete schedule of what’s happening at the festival, visit the Go Outside Festival website and remember to use the #GoFestYourself hashtag on social media!
We’ll see you outside!