Feather River Festival is California’s biggest whitewater festival, and is held annually on the fourth weekend in September to coincide with the Rock Creek Dam scheduled release. The event originated in 1991 as a party celebrating the dam release, and has grown exponentially over the years. Originally run by the Chico Paddle Heads, Feather River Fest is now presented by both the Chico Paddle Heads and American Whitewater, raising funds for the latter – a non-profit organization that works to conserve, restore, and enhance recreation opportunity on rivers. American Whitewater represents whitewater enthusiasts, river conservationists, and over 100 grassroots paddling clubs across the United States.
The 2015 festival takes place September 25-27 at the Indian Jim elementary school (see this map) and adjacent campground located on Highway 70 near Tobin, CA.
The event features a film festival, Class II slalom races for all vessels and levels, a Class V downriver race, primitive camping, dinner, beer, party, silent auction, raffle prizes, and scheduled water releases from Rock Creek Dam for boating opportunities on the North Fork Feather River. Clinics offered by Current Adventures Kayak School will be taught by Sage Viselli Donnelly, Jason Bates, Dan Crandall and Gigi McBee; times and topics TBD, learn more and pre-register at Current Adventures.
With stretches of river for all levels of boaters, the family-friendly weekend offers something for everyone. 2015 Feather Fest director – and ASJ Whitewater Editor – Haven Livingston says, “We hope you’ll join us for the wildest wet festival in the west. This year’s event promises to be tons of fun for kayakers, rafters and spectators alike.”
Some details to take note of:
- Feather River Fest is a LEAVE NO TRACE event. Please, pack it in and pack it out. There are no trash cans nor is there trash pick-up available at the event.
- NO DRINKING WATER is available at Festival, please BYO water.
- Support Feather Fest efforts to cut down on plastic by purchasing limited edition Feather Fest 25th Anniversary stainless steel pint cups by Klean Kanteen for $5. Buy one and get $1 off each beer refill!
- There is FREE camping at the Festival site. Additional free camping is available one mile up-stream at Roger’s Flat or one mile down-stream at Tobin Vista. Parking is tight, so carpooling is highly recommended.
- There is no shuttle service; however, there are hundreds of cool boater folks just like you… simply meet your neighbor for guaranteed fun times and great boating.
- NO open fires! You are required to have a free permit from the forest service web site for using any camp stove. Obtain yours here.
- Although the festival is a family-friendly event, Saturday’s 10pm party is more appropriate for adults only.