Russell Fork Rendezvous celebrates 25th anniversary

For Immediate Release

September 12, 2019

By Megan Larkin


HAYSI, VA- The 25th annual Russell Fork Rendezvous will be held on October 24-27, 2019 at the Haysi Kiwanis Fairgrounds, near the Breaks Interstate Park.

The festival is held every year during the last weekend of the scheduled water release for the Russell Fork River, and on the same weekend as the extreme, Class V “Lord of the Fork” river race.

Rendezvous is a celebration of the culture surrounding the Russell Fork River, known to many as the “Grand Canyon of the Southeast.”

Due to a lack of organization and proper facilities, the festival was facing extinction five years ago, when current organizer, Bob Larkin, rallied a small but enthusiastic team to bring it back to life.

In 2018, after several years of being held in nearby Elkhorn City, KY, festival organizers moved the event back to where it started in Haysi, VA.  The Kiwanis Park offers two stages, restrooms, showers and ample room for camping and parking.

The move will allow the festival to continue to grow, with organizers focusing on getting it back to its roots as a free-spirited, eclectic and all-inclusive celebration of the river and the culture surrounding it.

This year’s Rendezvous will include all the staples of recent festivals, including camping, live music, large fires, and the awards ceremony for the “Lord of the Fork” race. But looking ahead to the future, organizers have made several changes to the event in hopes of encouraging more community inclusion.

As part of the spirit of inclusion, select discounts will be applied to the admission fee for local residents, students and those wishing to enter on day passes.

Admission rates are $25 pre-sale, $30 at the gate and $20 for students, and include camping and activities for the entire event. Single day passes are available for anyone with a Pike or Dickenson County ID. Proceeds benefit American Whitewater.

For more information about the 2019 Russell Fork Rendezvous, visit