This past weekend was the 14th annual Riverfest at Valle Crucis Park. It was our first time attending this event but will now be adding it to our list of annual festivities! Typically, when people inform me of family festivals or grand openings it translates to me as AVOID that location on that day. That being said, Valle Crucis is an incredible host sight for an event. There is so much room to spread out that you never feel claustrophobic or worry about losing sight of your kids.
The festival was filled with hands-on activities and information for both youth and adults about the benefits of keeping our rivers clean and healthy as a community. Presented by Watauga River Partners, it was great to see the wide variety of non-profit organizations and local businesses come together to teach and advocate on behalf of the natural resources we are blessed with in the High Country. In the hopes of raising my children to be passionate about the outdoors, it is important for me to then extend that passion to preserving it.
Some favorite take-away moments included the children’s watermelon eating contest for children 12 and under.
One of my favorite parts of this picture is the “I Love Mountains” temporary tattoo on his arm they gave him at the festival.
On the other side of the park, River and Earth Adventures (www.raftcavehike.com) provided free tubes for those who wanted to float down the section of the river within the park. I became friends with the owner of the company (Grant Seldomridge) back when I worked with Appalachian State Outdoor Programs in my college years. He and his wife run a stellar business if you are looking for a guided adventure!
Not sure what YOUR preferences are in a park, but Valle Crucis is at the top of my list.
Well, Valle Crucis and Price Park…
And Wildcat Lake…
And Rocky Knob.
If you haven’t discovered these places yet, I will be happy to introduce you in my future blog posts. I don’t know about you, but I was a little overcome when Summer Solstice came and went the other day. It serves as a reminder to utilize and make the most of our incredible summers and be outside as much as we possibly can!!!
A special shout out to my awesome friend and local photographer Alicia Greene who took the amazing shots included in this post. She specializes in outdoor/action photography and is AWESOME with kids!
Her website is aliciaverde.tumblr.com and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact her for a family session in your favorite outdoor place!
“Real life is the good stuff, photographically and realistically. When I am given the opportunity to photograph families, I really love being able to find the real moments and bring those to the light. Watching kids navigate the world is one of the great gifts of adulthood. It is also rich to them. It adds richness to our lives. Photography doesn’t have to be complicated to be powerful or professional. My hope is to use my camera to find the real stuff in life and let others know it’s out there. I would love to have the chance to tell your real life story. ” Alicia Greene