Top-rated mid-sized mountain town seeking outdoor brands for 2013 event that  features exhibits, demos, camping, live music, races, adventure films and more

The Roanoke GO Outside Festival, a celebration of all things outdoors in a top-rated mid-sized mountain town, returns in October 2013 with free exhibits, demos and activities – a perfect place to elevate your brand.

Roanoke, Va., considered one of the East’s best outdoor towns, is the ideal setting for the region’s most diverse sampling of outdoor adventure. This year 8,500 outdoor enthusiasts attended the three-day festival, which included exhibits and booths featuring the latest gear, services and ideas celebrating outdoor recreation.

“As a growing outdoor industry center, Roanoke has demonstrated to the industry that the people here are passionate about the outdoors, that hiking, biking, kayaking and other activities that we enjoy a few minutes from an urban center are part of our lifestyle,” said Pete Eshelman, director of outdoor branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “The people here are committed to seeing this industry grow as they discover new activities right here in our backyard. It’s a growing event that national brands are discovering as a natural marketing opportunity.”

This year’s event featured such national brands as KEEN, Specialized, Raleigh, Gibbon Slacklines, Mountain Khakis, Ruffwear, Subaru, Giant, Innova Discs, Bellayk, Sylvan Sport Trailers and Sierra Nevada.

GO FEST features a host of free and low-cost outdoor activities, both competitive and non-competitive, including professional athletes, guided hikes and rides, trail runs, equipment demos, mountain bike races, gear sales, disc golf, geocache trail and lots more. This year’s event included live music, from traditional African gospel to Appalachian string-band to Latin; the Subaru Ultimate Air Dog show; Gibbon Slackline athletes (as seen during the Super Bowl halftime show); Giant Bicycle athlete Jeff Lenosky; KEEN Recess is Back tour; Shaff Adventure Film Festival; and Sierra Nevada Torpedo Race.

Kid-friendly events include a climbing wall, speed-climbing competition, inflatable obstacle course, SUP simulator, tether ball, disc golf, a geocache trail and more.

Readers of Blue Ridge Outdoors recently named Roanoke as the best mid-sized mountain town ahead of Asheville, N.C., Morgantown, W.Va., and Charlottesville, Va.  The region is home to the Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway and Carvins Cove, the second-largest municipal park in the nation.

Here’s what the magazine had to say: “The city of Roanoke is perfectly located: In the heart of the valley, with a river running right through town, and adjacent to George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Not surprisingly, it’s rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the country’s top outdoor destinations.”

The 2013 GO Fest will be held Oct. 18-20. To learn more about getting your brand involved, be sure to visit the Roanoke Regional Partnership at the Winter OR Show or hop online to

Logo courtesy Neathawk Dubuque & Packett/Roanoke Regional Partnership

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