When you want to be outside in the middle of the woods, but isolated hiking is a 3 hr drive away, you make do. This past week was absolutely crazy for us – work and social obligations ruined a plan to go backpacking, so attending TUCKFEST was the next best thing! I joked that TUCKFEST is Coachella for Charlotte, minus the crazy outfits and adding in the adventure-junkies.
TUCKFEST is a music festival featuring outdoor competitions that happens at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte every April. It is one of the few times Charlotte feels like a city of outdoorsmen. People come from all around to participate in the competitions, and to spend their evenings jamming out to live music.
It was named after the Tuckaseegee Ford and Trail, a historic point that is located at the USNWC. What used to be an crossing point for travelers to get across the river to what is now Charlotte, now is a vital part of the Center’s infastructure.
We made it there Saturday afternoon with some of our neighbors, who are all so amazing. Our neighborhood and our building, especially, seems to help create a great sense of community and fosters friendship well.
When we got there, everyone went in search of beer and food. $5 PBR’s in a 24oz. can caught my eye, and kept me from having to get in the beer line frequently. While some members of our party searched for the perfect place to set up our blankets for the live music, Matt and I wandered around the property looking at the various vendors, petting every dog we saw, and checking out all the runners and cyclists heading to and from competitions.
There are so many competitions happening throughout the whole weekend: running, mountain biking, climbing, kayaking, etc. We didn’t participate in any ourselves, but I loved seeing all of the activities happening. It had me longing for a trail in the mountains!
We had a perfect spot by the man-made river, with great views of the stage and the crowd. As the sun made its way dow, I loved sitting at the edge of the rafting river, letting the water splash up on my legs while I watched kayakers, rafting groups, paddleboarders, and a boogie-boarder (?) getting one last run in before it got too dark. Once the sun went down, we got to dance on the lawn to great music, and Phil showed off a crazy cool app on his phone that showed you the constellations and planets when you held it up to the sky.
If you want to make plans to come next year, block out the end of April on your calendar. Pay the $35 fee to participate in any competitions you like, and bring plenty of sunblock and blankets to use throughout the day.
Special thanks to Mountain Khakis for my outfit: as an ambassador I am given gift cards to redeem for their clothing. The Emma dress I wore was perfect for the day because of it’s light fabric and it’s pockets (!!) which meant I never had to worry about where to put my phone or ID.