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Written by: Sarah Hodges
Monday July 23, 2018

For outdoor and nature enthusiasts, the highlight of the summer is just around the corner. Smith River Fest, presented by Bassett Physical Therapy, will be held on Saturday, August 11th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Smith River Sports Complex, located at 1000 Irisburg Road in Axton, Virginia. Both admission and parking are free for this event.

In past years, thousands of guests from 10 different states and 52 Virginia communities participated in the event, and festival organizers expect those numbers to grow. Highlighted events for the 11th annual event include the Helgramite Hustle 5K Mud Run, the 4.8-mile long River Race, the Blue Ridge Duck Race, and a Gear Swap.

Activity areas will be spread throughout the festival allowing guests to try out various forms of recreation, including:

  • Puppy Yoga, presented by The SPCA of Martinsville and Amy Yates Elliott. (Donation suggested)
  • The Casting Pool, presented by American National Bank & Trust Company, will allow guests to learn casting techniques for trout fishing. Volunteers from Smith River Trout Unlimited, Casting for Recovery, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will facilitate lessons. (Free)
  • The Kids Cycle Station, presented by Bassett Physical Therapy Kidz, will allow youth ages 12 and under to challenge themselves to a biking obstacle course while learning about bike safety. Volunteers from the Henry County Bike Club and Martinsville Police Department will facilitate the rides. (Free)
  • The Duck Village, presented by Boys & Girls Club of the Blue Ridge, offers fun children’s activities all day. (Free)
  • The Kids Zone, presented by Virginia 811, will include multiple bounce houses and up-close encounters from the animals of Infinity Acres Petting Ranch. (Free)
  • The Climbing Wall, presented by Rockon Climbing, is always a popular attraction. (Free)
  • Live Music, presented by Results Company, will feature DJ WHAT! in the morning, and Live Music in the afternoon. (Free)
  • This year’s Beer Garden, presented by Martinsville YMCA will feature 2 Witches and MHC’s own Mountain Valley Brewing.
  • The Hammock Village, presented by DAM Good Equipment., will provide a fun way to relax during the festival. (Free)

The event, founded in 2008, is designed to promote recreational opportunities along the Smith River and in the surrounding region.

Smith River Fest is collaborative effort between Henry County Parks & Recreation, Martinsville-Henry County EDC’s Tourism Division, Smith River Sports Complex, Dan River Basin Association, Martinsville-Henry County YMCA, Martinsville Parks & Recreation and the Boys & Girls Club of the Blue Ridge. Vendor applications, race registrations and additional festival information can be found at SmithRiverFest.com or by calling 276.632.8006.

Tags: Axton, Bike Barn, Boating, Entertainment, Festivals, Henry County, Henry County Parks & Recreation, Insider's Tips, Local Business, Martinsville, Martinsville Parks & Recreation, MHC Economic Development Corporation, MHC Visitor Center, Music, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, River, Smith River Fest, Smith River Sports Complex, Smith River Trail System, Sports