Ocoee Fest organizers bring event to the river
by By JOYANNA LOVE Banner Staff Writer
Aug 23, 2013 | 1572 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Boats, bands and beer — the B’s of BBB Paddling are what the event planning group hopes to bring to Tennessee as part of Ocoee Fest.

The festival will be the first event the group from Northeast Georgia has hosted on the Ocoee River. Ford Quarterman of BBB Paddling said it would be a two-day event held at Adventures Unlimited in Ocoee and featuring whitewater sports, live music, camping, food vendors and giveaways, including a Liquid Logic kayak grand prize.

He said river activities have “great organization,” but there are not many “off-river activities” when someone is finished rafting or kayaking.

The kayaking friends hope Ocoee Fest becomes an annual event.

The event will be held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $25 for VIP admission, which includes a commemorative glass for the beer tasting. Whitewater opportunities can be scheduled at an additional price through local companies.

Tickets include two nights of camping and entrance to the festival.

The event will also feature a craft beer home brew contest.

“Beer is actually a craft. ... It’s an art form,” Quarterman said.

There will be 30 local brewers participating in the event.

Quarterman said craft beer has been big in the West and is gaining in popularity in the South.

The contest will serve as a way to recognize local talent and provide networking opportunities with other brewers and commercial brewer Red Brick Brewing Company in Atlanta. The brewing company will be judging the contest. Attendees will have opportunities to taste the entries.

Music will be provided through four regional bands and Kalob Griffin Band of Pennsylvania.

“They have a big kayaking following,” Quarterman said. ”They have a real local sound.”

BBB Paddling is a group of kayaking enthusiasts that plans events to connect with other like-minded outdoors people.

“We are a group of guys who grew up together and have become avid whitewater kayakers,” Quarterman said. “The whitewater kayaking community is a small, close-knit community.”

The members’ adventures with river festivals began after they had attended several on other rivers, and realized there was a river right in Northeast Georgia and Southeast Tennessee that did not have one. That was the beginning of the group’s event planning activities.

Tickets for Ocoee Fest can be purchased at www.ocoeefest.com.