ASHEVILLE NC – This annual grassroots festival has grown steadily from a one night benefit party on the banks of the French Broad to an all weekend festival featuring some of the best music in the area and a number of outdoor events in celebration of this beautiful river and setting.
Date: May 1-3, 2015
Location: The festival takes place at the Hot Springs Campground & Spa, at the intersection of the French Broad River and the Appalachian Trail in historic Hot Springs, NC.
Music / entertainment:
Larry Keel Experience, Sol Driven Train, Zach Deputy, Big Daddy Love, Big Something, PGrass, The Accomplices, Red Dirt Revelators, Raising Caine, Empire Strikes Brass, Dead 27’s, Rodeo Clown, The Dubplates and more! This festival always has a few surprises such as a juggling fire show, kid’s parade, trapeze artists, fireworks, late night acoustic jams, and watch out for flying marshmallows.
Outdoor events: You can enjoy the outdoors by participating in the raft race, a 9 mile whitewater race that finishes at the festival, paddling “with the pros”, or the mountain bike race. And if you’re not feeling too competitive, you can take a nice hike on the AT or just hang out by the river, listening to the music.
The Raft Race will be held on Saturday, May 2 at 10:00 am.
The biggest mass start whitewater raft race in the southeast. The race begins in Barnard, North Carolina and ends at the festival in beautiful Hot Springs, NC. During the 9 mile race, you will experience Class 1-4 whitewater excitement as well as bumping boats, crazy people, and a lot of heckling. See website for details to pre-register for a spot on a raft with guide.
The Mountain Bike Race will take place Saturday, May 2 at 10 am. Registration fees are $15 for non-festival participants and free for folks attending the festival. There will be prizes for the top finishers. Please plan to arrive at 9 am for pre-race registration and route information. For more info regarding the race and pre-registration, check out www.frenchbroadriverfestival.com.
Paddle with the Pros! Space is limited so sign up early!
Saturday, May 2nd offers a chance to paddle with an Open Canoe legend. Three time World Champion Eli Helbert will be leading a canoe clinic for folks with their own boat and gear. This will be great for boaters of all skill levels. Sign up for Paddle with the Pros at the festival information booth on Friday afternoon or evening. Space will be limited, so get there early!
Bring the Kids! Kids 12 and under are free, and The Kids’ Village has a terrific line up of fun activities including inflatables, face painting and Becky the Balloon Lady making costumes and fun balloon shapes for the annual FBRF Kids’ Parade. Becky brings an entourage of fun folks that juggle, play with fire, and love to create an entertaining atmosphere for kids of all ages! Kids’ parade on Saturday led by Sol Driven Train.
Food, prizes and more: There are plenty of food vendors or you can dine out in one of Hot Springs’ restaurants. See lots of outdoor gear and win some of it in the raffle and silent auction. Kids area. Sand volleyball. Spa. River. Mountains. Sleeping is optional.
Good Cause: Over the years, The French Broad River Festival has donated over $150,000 to designated local charities such as Manna Food Bank, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of WNC, Eliada Home, Homeward Bound of Asheville, and American Whitewater. Proceeds in 2014 will be donated to the Hot Springs Community Learning Center, Homeward Bound and American Whitewater.
Tickets include camping, music, registration fees for whitewater and biking events (if you have your own boat/bike), one raffle ticket, festival schwag, and good times.
~ $80 General Admission (Early Bird online) – see website for details / availability at gate.
~ Parking $50 inside festival or drop off gear at campsite and park free just outside
~ Children under 12 get in free.
Rafting plus Admission:
For those without boats but who would like to participate in the race, a limited number of tickets are available. These include a spot in a raft for the raft race with a guide, plus everything the general admission ticket offers. Check the website for more details. Tickets are on sale now at www.frenchbroadriverfestival.com.