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Get Outside Weekend Update May 7-10

Festivals, Events, & Outings

Thursday, May 7

Friday, May 8

Saturday, May 9

Sunday, May 10

Monday, May 11

Tuesday, May 12

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Pete’s Pick: Mother’s Day Kayaking

Mother’s Day is this weekend. Show your mom you love her (and the outdoors) with a fun and leisurely kayaking trip.

Roanoke County is sponsoring a trip on the James River that is designed for any experience level (as long as you can swim) and is a great way to spend some quality time together. Pack a picnic lunch so you can make a day of it.

Here’s how it works: After orientation with your sit-on-top kayak and paddling instruction you’re heading down river. Enjoy quality family time in a beautiful setting with breaks and lunch along the way. Each participant gets an individual sit-on-top kayak. The adventure leaves from the Green Ridge Center at 9 a.m. and will return at 4 p.m. Transportation, guides, and all equipment are provided.

More experienced paddlers can plan a trip to any of the other great waterways in the Roanoke Region as well. Pack a picnic and make it a family event.

Make sure to check out our comprehensive list of rivers and creeks to plan your paddling trip. Take your mom out to one of your all-time favorite spots or try a new location.

And thanks to all the moms out there for everything you do. Happy Mother’s Day.

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Hey Fishermen, Brew-Tie is for You

brew tie roanokeBring your trying kit, hang out with other fly fishers and have a cold one at the monthly Brew-Tie.

The event, which is sponsored by Orvis and Corned Beef & Company, is a great way to sharpen your tying skills, socialize with other tiers and have a great time. There’s no cover and no experience is necessary.  

There will be a beginner's table set up with tools and materials and someone there to assist those just getting started tying their own flies. More experienced tiers can set up at their own tables and fill their fly boxes for the coming season, swap techniques, and maybe trade some flies with each other.

The event begins at 7 and happens on the third Thursday of the month. (The next one is May 14.) Call Tom Brown at Orvis to learn more at 345-3635.

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Last Chance: FloydFest Ticket Giveaway

We are starting to get seriously excited about FloydFest. (It’s just right around the corner – July 22-26.)

The music lineup this year is pretty amazing, from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals to Drive-By Truckers to Trampled by Turtles to Keller Williams, there is something for every musical taste. There are 60-plus musical acts on the schedule for the great extended weekend of music and activities.

floydfest 2015 music

And Roanoke Outside wants to see you at FloydFest this year. We are teaming up with FloydFest to give away a pair of five-day festival passes.

All you have to do to enter is answer the following question: Which band are you most looking forward to catching at FloydFest 14 ~ Fire on the Mountain?

Now for the fine print …

How the winner is chosen:  Every person that enters is assigned a number (1, 2, 3....). We then use to choose the winning number. If you want entered our April and/or May giveaway you must enter again; entries do not carry over.


  1. Fill out the form below answering this question: Besides the music, what is the one thing you are looking forward to most at FloydFest?
  2. One entry per person (and yes we can tell if you enter multiple times).
  3. Deadline to enter is Wednesday, May 20, 2015.
  4. One winner will receive a pair of five-day passes to FloydFest. Passes are transferable to another party if you can’t attend.
  5. Winners will be notified via email.
  6. By entering, you agree to share your email address with FloydFest and Roanoke Outside.

Good luck!


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It’s Time to Gallop for the Greenways

roanoke 5k

Helping the greenways and trails in the Roanoke Region is a part of our community culture. You can do your part this weekend by taking a run, jog or walk along the most scenic 5K in the area and Gallop for the Greenways.

The annual event is a fundraiser to support our growing network of pedestrian and bicycle trails. Net proceeds from the event go to Pathfinders for Greenways, a local non-profit charitable organization. Pathfinders members volunteer 5,000 hours each year to maintain existing trails, and build new greenways throughout the Roanoke Region. Membership is open to anyone interested in lending a hand with construction or maintenance projects, promotional efforts, or fundraising.

You can start with this weekend’s race. Walk or run across the finish line for a festival featuring a live band, food and drinks to keep you moving throughout the night. Come out and support the runners and attend the free festival, beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday on Wiley Drive near the River's Edge Sports Complex.

Gallop for the Greenways

When: Saturday, May 9 at 5 p.m.

Where: Wiley Drive near River’s Edge Sports Complex, Roanoke

Cost: Free festival, race entry fees apply

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Bike Series is Just for Kids

bike series for kids roanoke

The Fishburn Youth Mountain Biking Race Series is back for a third year and it is a lot of fun for the kids (and adult spectators).

The series is open to novice riders ages 2 to 14. The first race is May 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Fishburn Park (registration is at 4:30). The series continues on May 14 and 21 at the same times.

Riders compete on a short, spectator friendly course against kids of their own age and skill level. Medals will be awarded to the top three boys and girls in each age group, and at the end of the series an overall male and female winner will be named for each group. Participants can register for the whole series or individual races.

The series is sponsored by East Coasters Bike Shop and Roanoke Parks and Recreation. Kids love the adventure and parents love the post-race dinner. Registration is free and available online or in person on race day. Kids can sign up for one race or all three. Either way, fun is guaranteed.

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Vote Roanoke Outside Magazine Best Town 2015

Roanoke-VA-Outside-Magazine-Best-Towns-2015Help show the rest of the U.S. how awesome Roanoke, VA is!

Voting for Outside Magazine's annual "Best Towns 2015" is now up and running. One of 64 towns will be called the “Best Town Ever.” Crowning Roanoke the winner is up to you.

Vote May 4-8:  Roanoke vs. Chattanooga

Here's how to vote:

  1. Go to
  2. Look at the bracket, but scroll below it to vote.
  3. Roanoke is located in the "South" bracket.
  4. You may vote once for each round (ie. May 4-8, May 9-13, May 13-18, May 19-23, and May 24-28).
  5. You may also get additional votes by voting everytime you are connected to a new internet (wireless) network. So vote at work, home, coffee shop, etc.
  6. Share and encourage friends and family to vote.
  7. Set a reminder on your phone or calendar to make sure you vote when it counts.
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Get Outside Weekend Update April 30-May3

Festivals, Events, & Outings

Thursday, April 30

Friday, May 1

Saturday, May 2

Sunday, May 3

Monday, May 4

Tuesday, May 5

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Pete’s Pick: Free Family Fun Day

free family fun day roanoke

What’s better than a little wilderness adventure with the kids? Head on out to Wilderness Adventure on Saturday for a day packed with activities that the whole family can enjoy.

The center will be open and ready for drop-in adventures with no reservations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a 900' zip line; 50' climbing wall; canoeing, tubing or swimming on the pond; and hiking and more all day long. It’s not just for the kids, parents can meet award-winning staff (Outside magazine "Best Places to Work" winner), wander around the lodges, explore trails, and take in the awesome sights.

And the best part of all? You can experience it all free during Family Fun Day.  But there are three things Wilderness Adventure wants you to know before you RVSP:

  1. Prepare for weather: Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, raincoats, water bottles, snacks, and good athletic shoes!
  2. Prepare for lots of adventure-seekers! Without taking reservations, we aren't able to say how many people will be out here, Facebook says 300! We're excited to have everyone, and we are planning to do our best to organize for a crowd -- you can help by bringing an awesome attitude and being prepared with everything mentioned in point 1!
  3. Legally, anyone who will be doing an activity will have to sign a waiver (and anyone under 18 will have to have a LEGAL GUARDIAN sign their waiver.) There's going to be a place to check in and do just that, make sure you don't miss it!

Sounds like it will be a lot of fun. Hope to see you there!

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Kick Off Bike Month on 2 Wheels

May is Bike Month and there are plenty of events that anyone can participate in. You can start with something as simple as pedaling to the office one day or just making sure to share the road with respect.

But there are plenty of fun activities as well. Here are a few of our favorites happening this month.

bike month roanoke

The month begins with the Bike Shorts Film Festival on Friday, May 1 at the Grandin Theater. The festival features short films produced by local, national and international filmmakers featuring bicycles, bicyclists, and bicycling in interesting, creative, and surprising ways. From music videos to zombie movies, the Bike Shorts Film Festival highlights some of the incredible creativity that southwest and central Virginia has to offer. Plus the best films are in the running for cash prizes.

Details: 6 p.m. reception and 7 p.m. screening; tickets are $12

Once the show is over, hop on your bike for the Superbomb Star Bomb downhill cruise from Mill Mountain Star to downtown.  What makes this ride unique is that cyclists are encouraged to bring a tiny children’s bike, but any human-powered method of transportation is OK! Transportation up Mill Mountain will be provided but you are on your own when it comes to the downhill ride.

Details: 9:30 p.m., free

The Night Rider’s Ball is scheduled for May 23 and will be the biggest, baddest, funkiest event yet with The Pimps of Joytime at Martin’s. Enjoy brews from New Belgium Brewery, free bicycle valet parking, vendors and more in an event that’s too big to hold indoors. Luck Avenue will be closed with an outdoor stage so there’s plenty of room to party.

Details: 7 p.m. doors and bike valet open, 9 p.m. show starts; free admission for anyone who takes the Clean Commute Challenge or who arrives on a bike (or $10)

We'll be keeping an eye out for other bike related events, discounts, etc. and posting them to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram make sure you're following us there.

And remember to “Change Your Perspective” all month long. The new program is aimed at helping all commuters learn to share the roadway. Visit the website or download one of the campaign posters to show your support for cyclists every day.

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