The city of Roanoke, Va. ranked fairly high in our Mountain Towns Reader poll last month (find out who won in the November issue!), and it is partly because of events like the Go Outside Festival. This annual outdoor festival was formerly called the Roanoke Outdoor Circus, but is now known simply as GoFest. This is one of the region’s biggest and best outdoor festivals—and definitely one of the most accessible. Free parking, free admission, free activities, free demos…GoFest has it all. Held in downtown Roanoke on the banks of the Roanoke River, GoFest will have the works: vendor booths, guided hikes, fly fishing lessons, live music, camping, craft beer, and more.

The attractions at an outdoor festival, especially ones as big as GoFest or Richmond’s RiverRock, are awesome, but it goes deeper than that. Attending a weekend event totally dedicated to the healthy outdoor lifestyle—and its periphery interests like the environment, craft beer, and pets—–is very much like a old timey religious revival: like-minded people celebrating what they love and exchanging ideas and skills. In this case, we are rejoicing in the glory of the mountains and rivers. Take advantage and attend a day or two of GoFest this weekend and bring your bike, kayak, fishing rod, dog, or whatever else you can fit in your car.

While you’re there, swing by the Blue Ridge Outdoors Roadshow tent where Nick and I will be signing people up for raffle prizes and handing out other BRO swag.


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