“The right people, the right energy, the right location.”

                                                                                                                                      -Brent Austin, Bowlines 1999

October 25-27, 2019

*See important information concerning festival dates.


Haysi, VA

Gate Price $30

Advance Sale Price $25


All proceeds benefit American Whitewater


– 2019 festival date and the October release dates may change  –

-A call to action-


In an attempt to serve the community, last October, the Corps of Engineers released a survey trying to understand the most effective release schedule that serves both the interests of the kayaking community and those of local fishermen. Unfortuniatly, due to the timing of this survey the response from the kayaking community was poor while the response from a very organized group of local fishermen, overwhelming. The end result is that the Corps of Engineers are actively considering halting the release from Flanagans Dam until the 3rd week in October.

As has been the case in the past, both the first and second weekend in October have been the most active for kayaking on the Russell Fork. The weather is generally good and it offers ample time for perspective racers to work out their lines.

On April 2nd at 6:30 pm. the Corps of Engineers will be holding an open meeting at the Breaks Interstate Park in Breaks Va. to consider public opinion that will determine their course moving forward. We encourage you, our fellow boaters to attend this meeting. Make our presence known, make it clear that we care and that these dates are important to us. We may be a scattered group, but this is an important decision that is well worth the drive.


– 2019 Festival Details –



Kiwanis Park will be open for camping Thursday, Oct 24th through Sunday evening, Oct 27th.

Wristbands are $25 per person in advance or $30 at the gate and will allow camping and re-entry all weekend, at any time.

Registration will begin at 6pm on Friday.  You must register and pay the entry fee to enter the grounds, whether you are camping or not.

We are not responsible for lost or stolen items, so please secure your belongings upon arrival.





With the move to Kiwanis Park, there is more space for camping than in previous years. There will be a family camping area, and if you are a light sleeper or go to bed early, we strongly recommend you camp there.

The park has restrooms available, but no showers at this time. Leashed dogs are welcome, provided that they are not aggressive.

There is additional camping in Haysi, as well as a few miles away at the Breaks Interstate park. We are not affiliated with these camping areas so all reservations and questions should be directed to them.



Rendezvous is a celebration of paddling culture. You should expect a relaxed atmosphere with music, drums, dancing, fires, hoops, and blatant exaggerations of exploits on the river.

While there will not be a costume contest this year, it’s a great time to break in your Halloween costume.

Also, and this can’t be said enough, it’s a party. Expect loud music and talking until the wee hours of the morning and pick your campsite accordingly. Earplugs are never a bad idea.



The Russell Fork River offers something for boaters of any skill level. Novices or anyone looking for a fun float can put on right at Carson Island and take out in Elkhorn City. Intermediate boaters can hone their skills on the upper or lower sections. Advanced boaters may choose to take on the gorge, or even participate in the Lord of the Forks race on Saturday (requires expert skill and knowledge of the run).

The upper and lower sections can also be rafted or shredded.


Food & Drink

Rendezvous is a strictly BYOB event, and all drinks must be kept in cups.

During the festival, there will be food vendors on site as well as several local options including a market just a short drive away in the town of Haysi.

As is the custom with the festival, we make every effort to support the communities that are supporting us so we ask that, whenever possible, you make your purchases either within the fairgrounds or directly from businesses within the boater friendly town of Haysi.


Other Stuff

There’s plenty to do at Rendezvous and in Haysi! Aside from the many events during the festival and the live music Thursday through Saturday night, Haysi offers miles of hiking and dirtbike trails. World class kayaking is available on the Russell Fork River with scheduled releases all weekend, there are sections of the river perfect for just about any skill level.

If you aren’t quite ready to take on the Annual class 5 Lord of the Fork race on Saturday afternoon, buddy up and hike into the gorge to watch some of the best kayakers in the World come through El Horrendo. Just wear sturdy shoes, take a bottle of water, a flashlight, and watch out for trains.

Learn more

Read more about the history and current plans for Rendezvous as well as the rules for attending the event here.

-Live Music-

Booking Bands Now for the 2019 Festival

Become a member of American Whitewater

Join the effort to preserve and protect whitewater rivers throughout the united states.

Learn more and sign up for your membership today here.