Best of the Festivals - SPORTS

Share this

Get in Gear Fest
March 21 ›› Asheville

A signature event of the Outdoor Gear Builders, a collective of manufacturers devoted to enhancing the state’s $28 billion outdoor recreation industry, Get in Gear Fest is an opportunity for hikers, bikers, anglers, kayakers, climbers, and the like to sample and purchase the latest gear directly from the makers. Taking place along the French Broad River at Salvage Station, live music, food trucks, beer, and demos set the pace for the day. New this year, brands will be selling seconds and demo gear at reduced costs, as well as offering a customer appreciation sale. It’s a festive opportunity to get outfitted for the warmer months ahead.

Tryon Block House Races
April 11 ›› tryon

Hosted at Green Creek Race Course, this 73rd annual steeplechase truly appeals to anyone, horse enthusiasts and newcomers alike. If you’re among the later and wondering if the term refers to a church tower, it does not; it’s a day of horse racing that involves obstacles, and you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the fun, part of which consists of tailgating and the ridiculous contests that coincide. Attendees dress their best to compete for a variety of awards, including best hat, tackiest pants, and most elaborate. Live music, kids activities, VIP dining, and a pre-race calcutta (an auction and party benefitting Tryon Riding & Hunt Club) are also on the docket.

Lake Lure Olympiad
August 7-9 ›› Lake Lure

Three challenging days of heart-pumping competitions are all for a good cause at this annual sporting event. All proceeds from entry fees go to area charities and service organizations. The weekend includes a 10K race, triathlon, golf tournament, a junior Olympiad that includes a basketball shoot, baseball throw, and other kid-friendly contests, and the Race to the Rock, a 5K run or 25-mile bike ride up to Chimney Rock. Capable participants who really want to test their endurance can take on the 3 Races in 3 Days challenge, which includes the 10K, a triathlon sprint, and the Race to the Rock. Included in this event, though held on June 6, is the Lure of the Lake Swim, a 1.5- or 3-mile race on the water.

December 11-13 ›› Sugar Mountain

Winter sports fans can get in on the action at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort’s seasonal kickoff. Two-time Olympic Super G medalist Andrew Weibrecht will lead ski clinics each day. There’s also fun to be had at the terrain park, as well as tubing, ice skating, and ski and snowboard gear demos. SugarFeast includes barbecue and a Soup Safari serving scratch-made soups, as well as a hot chocolate and whipped cream bar. An after party and fireworks take place Saturday night. And, of course, you can spend as much time on the slopes as you want honing your powder prowess.

Photographs (get in gear) courtesy of Outdoor Gear Builders; (lake lure-2) by Buddy Morrison; (sugarfest) Sugar Mountain Resort/; (Races-2) by Erik Olsen