Blue (grass) + white (water) = festival (fun)
Where else can you combine such chill events as listening to bluegrass (or playing; all fiddles welcome) and paddling in pools of fresh, clear Alaska cold water than the annual Six Mile Creek Whitewater and Bluegrass Festival?
On the flip side, this can be a high-energy event too, with white-knuckle paddling and fast and loud music.
You choose: This event aims to please and there is something for everyone.
“This event is the largest paddling gathering in the state all year,” said Tim Johnson, who coordinates the annual event. “Even if you don’t kayak, the music is fun to watch and spectating the extreme kayak races and pool toy races is always fun. There isn’t a crazier paddling race than this in the state.”
This year’s event takes place Aug. 8-10, and includes live music, an extreme kayak event, pack rafting, pool toy competitions and of course, a big party to make it all worthwhile.
“It all takes place right on Boston Bar, which is a gravel bar on the banks of Six Mile Creek,” Johnson said. “There has been a great gathering of good folks down there, and it keeps getting better every year.”
This year features plenty of bands – as of press time Johnson had rallied Backcountry Revolution, The Dirty Hands and The Shoot Dangs, and was in talks with several other bands.
One of the best aspects of the Six Mile Festival is the fact that is it completely free – thanks to donations from festivalgoers and volunteers who step up to take part.
“The general public’s donations at the festival every year help continue keeping the festival free and paying for permits, bathrooms, fuel, stage materials, etc.,” Johnson said. “Most important, I love going to free events, so I wanted to make my event completely free for everyone, no matter what. Free camping, free music, free racing, fun for all.”
Volunteers are still needed and appreciated, Johnson added.
To get to the event, drive an hour south of Anchorage toward Hope. The main festival grounds are at Mile 3.4 of Hope Road. Look for signs. Bring cash. AJ’s barbecue will be selling food and as always, all donations are appreciated. For those 21 and older, BYOB.
For more details, visit the festival Facebook. To volunteer, contact Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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