September 27-29, 2013
Nantahala Outdoor Center's (NOC) Guest Appreciation Weekend (GAF) is a huge riverside festival each year. Their famous end-of-season festival celebrates active outdoor lifestyles with free attractions, live music and entertainment. It's huge and includes great gear deals! The festival is NOC’s way of thanking the company’s guests at the end of the paddlesports season. It is one of the most popular outdoor lifestyle gatherings in the Southeast, attracting over 5,000 visitors.
Live music from five musical acts will appeal to varied musical tastes.
Free attractions include rock climbing, storytelling, an interactive mountain bike pump track, educational live animal exhibitions, paddling competitions, outdoor skill demonstrations, face painting, and craft workshops.
The core of GAF is NOC’s annual Used Gear Sale where the company sales off its rafting, kayaking and canoeing supplies from the season at famous discounts. Adjacent to this, the Used Gear Sale is a used gear marketplace where enthusiasts buy, sell and trade their gear with other enthusiasts. NOC’s Outfitter’s Store will also be liquidating its 2011 demo fleet of whitewater and flatwater kayaks, as well as rental mountain bikes, offering guests yet another chance to get big savings on up-to-date gear.
NOC will be running guided and rental whitewater trips, kayaking instruction programs and wilderness medicine classes at regular prices GAF weekend.
Parking for GAF Weekend
Because GAF is so popular, and because they'll still be running normal rafting operations, the on-site parking won't accommodate all of the weekend's turnout. Please plan on the possibility of parking at a satellite lot and riding a free shuttle to and from the event. NOC will have additional parking located 2.2 miles up Silvermine Road (across from the Outfitter's Store), and it is possible that guests will need to ride the complimentary five-minute shuttles to and from the event. This year's shuttle lot is graveled and should be friendly to all vehicle types regardless of weather conditions. Please note that parking along Silvermine Road is not permitted by local law enforcement agencies. A NOC representative will be located outside the Wesser General Store and Fly Shop with a handout to guide guests to designated parking areas.
Event Weekend Hours
- Outfitter's Store: Friday 9am–8pm, Saturday 8am–8pm and Sunday 9am–5pm. The Outfitter's Store demo fleet goes on sale at 8am Saturday.
- River's End Restaurant: Friday 8am-9pm, Saturday 7am-9pm, Sunday 8am-7pm
- Slow Joe's Cafe: Friday 11am-12am, Saturday 7am-12am, Sunday 10am-10pm
- Relia's Garden Restaurant: Friday through Saturday, 5pm-10pm
Go to NOC's Web site for more.