Martinsville, Virginia


5th Annual Smith River Fest

Residents and visitors interested in exploring the many recreational opportunities in the Martinsville-Henry County and the surrounding region are invited to participate in the 5th Annual Smith River Fest. This free event is on Saturday, August 11th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Smith River Sports Complex.

Smith River Fest, which is a celebration of all things outdoors, will feature many exciting activities this year including the Smith River Race, Helgramite Hustle 5K Mud Run, free youth canoe rides, children's area, live music and more than 40 vendors.

"In recent years our area has become a destination of choice for outdoor recreation for cyclists, runners, paddlers and fishermen," said Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism for Martinsville- Henry County. "With more than 3,000 acres of open water, 45 miles of river and 20 miles of trail we have a lot to offer and Smith River Fest is a great showcase of our area amenities." Doss added, "We encourage outdoor enthusiasts to come visit our area with their families to allow us to show that 'You'll Love the Pace' in Martinsville-Henry County." 

Outdoor activities represented at the event include canoeing, kayaking, SUP (stand-up paddleboarding), fly fishing, running, bicycling, hiking, camping and more. Organizers of the festival are projecting this to be the largest event in the five year history of the festival. According to Roger Adams, Director of Henry County Parks & Recreation, "We have a record number of vendors for people to visit this year and have added several new aspects to the festival." 

One of the newest events at Smith River Fest is the Helgramite Hustle 5K Mud Run presented by Activate.  During the family friendly event there will be several mud pits, a slide and romp through the creek. There will be obstacles to climb over, crawl through, and slide under. The Axton Volunteer Fire Department will be on hand at the finish line to "shower" the runners.

Schedule of Events:

9 am - 10:15 am    River Race Registration
10 am - Noon         Music & Prizes from B99 Super Country Radio
10:30 am                Last Race Shuttle Departs
10:45 am                Mandatory Safety Meeting at Starting Line
11 am                     River Race Begins (4.8 miles)
11:30 am                Racers Arrive at Finish Line
12:30 pm                Live Fly Casting Demonstration by Smith River Trout Unlimited
1 pm                       River Race Awards Presented at the Smith River Fest Stage
1 pm - 2 pm            Helgramite Hustle Mud Run Registration
1:30 pm                  Live Performance by the Boys & Girls Club Steel Drum Band
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm  Kids River Rides (Free for Children Ages 12 & Under)
2 pm                       Helgramite Hustle Mud Run Begins
3 pm - 5 pm            Beer Garden Open & Live Music by Will Zimmer & Friends
3:30 pm                  Helgramite Hustle Mud Run Awards Presented

Each demo and performance will be held at the Smith River Fest stage, sponsored by Martinsville Uptown & Oktoberfest.

Organizers of the 5th Annual Smith River Fest are Henry County Parks & Recreation, Martinsville-Henry County EDC's Tourism & Film Division, Dan River Basin Association, Smith River Sports Complex, Activate Martinsville-Henry County and the Boys & Girls Club of the Blue Ridge. For additional information on Smith River Fest visit or call 276.634.4640.