Tuck Fest is held in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.
Situated on over 1,300 acres of woodlands, the Whitewater Center fosters an environment for people to come together to play outside. Dedicated to promoting healthy and active lifestyles and developing environmental stewardship, the Whitewater Center is home to the world’s largest man-made whitewater river, offering premier outdoor activities including whitewater rafting and kayaking, flatwater kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, ziplines, rope courses and various team building activities. The Whitewater Center is a locally owned and operated, North Carolina 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
The name “Tuck Fest” comes from the Tuckaseegee Ford and Trail, a historic landmark located on the property of the Whitewater Center. The Ford is the first known crossing point along the Catawba River that was traveled by Native Americans and European settlers. The Ford allowed travelers coming from the western part of the state to reach the key intersection of the Tuckaseegee Trail and the great Trading Path, the area now known as Center City Charlotte. As the area continued to grow, the Ford became a crucial crossing point for travelers and traders during and after the Revolutionary War. Located next to the Whitewater Center on the Catawba River, Sadler Island is a visible reminder of the Tuckaseegee Ford and its historic significance.
The Whitewater Center does not permit any outside food or beverage anywhere on the 1,300 acre footprint, including the parking lots. Food and drinks are available for purchase at a variety of outlets within the facility.
Yes, Tuck Fest has plenty to do for participants of all ages. From the Family Adventure Race to live music, Tuck Fest provides plenty of space for families to come out and get active together.
All Tuck Fest music is free and open to the public. Standard Whitewater Center parking fees apply. Seating is not provided for live musical performances. Plenty of areas for guests to bring chairs and blankets are available. If catered meals, a private bar, and private bathrooms are more your speed, contact Group Sales at (704) 391-3900 x116 to rent the Terrace for a premier view of the live music and festivities.
There is no fee for spectators coming to enjoy the Tuck Fest clinics, demos, music, vendor villages or spectate any of the races or competitions. All vehicles will be subject to standard Whitewater Center parking fees ($12 daily per standard car, $25 per larger vehicle).
The Tuck Fest race/competition registration is a one-time flat fee that grants access to all races and competitions throughout the 3-day festival. During registration, participants will have the option to select a timing chip, which means their race times will be timed and posted online. After completing the registration process, participants can compete in as many Tuck Fest races and competitions as they would like throughout the festival. Day-of registration will also be available on-site each day of Tuck Fest. Additional registration details can be found here.
Please note certain races and competitions have capacity limits or entry qualifications and require additional steps beyond completing the Tuck Fest registration form. Please see specific race/competition pages for further information.
Anyone who has paid the one-time registration fee may participate in any Tuck Fest race and competition (with the exception of Deep Water Solo, Boatercross, and Dirty Crit) once they receive a Tuck Fest participation bib and bracelet. Age recommendations and capacity restrictions for certain races and competitions that can be found in the individual race/competition details.
When completing the Tuck Fest race/competition registration, registrants will have the option to add on a timing chip for $10. Certain races utilize a chip to chip timing system to generate results. Runners and cyclists who do not have a chipped bib for these events can still participate and will see their time on the race clock, but they will not be eligible for the podium and will not have their time posted on the online results. Races that do not utilize the chip-to-chip timing system will be hand timed, and all participants regardless of whether they do or do not have a chipped bib will have their time or score hand recorded and be eligible for the podium.
The following races will be chip timed and will require a participant timing chip in order to be podium eligible: Night Trail Race 5K and 10K, Tuck Fest Half Marathon and 5K, 12K Trail Race, 12K MTB Race, Youth Trail Race, MTB Quarter Century, 5K Trail Race, Dog Jog and 5K Trail Race.
Anyone can apply to compete in the invite-only competitions (Deep Water Solo, Boatercross and Dirty Crit); we will have a limited number of wild card entry opportunities. In order to create the best possible experience for both competitors and spectators, the Whitewater Center will select the top competitors based on their experience to compete in the seeding round.
Pro competitions (Deep Water Solo, Boatercross and Dirty Crit) are invite-only with a wildcard application and involve $35,000 in cash purses spread across the three events. Citizen competitions are for the general public, and anyone who purchases a one-time registration fee can participate in these.
For most events, participants are expected to provide their own equipment, but each event is different. See the individual race/competition description for details.
Yes, ridesharing (such as Uber or Lyft) is always an option. If you would like to be dropped off at the main facility, standard parking fees ($12 per vehicle) will apply. Otherwise, there will be a ridesharing drop-off point on Whitewater Center Parkway. From the drop-off point, it is a half mile walk to the main facility. Ridesharing pickup is available at the main facility with no fee.
Overnight camping is not permitted on U.S. National Whitewater Center property.
Helping hands throughout the festival are always welcome. If you are interested in volunteering during any day of Tuck Fest, please complete a volunteer application.
Vendor Villages will be open during the following times:
Friday: 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
If you are interested in being a vendor or event sponsor during Tuck Fest, please visit the Vendor Application page found HERE.
The Whitewater Center trail status is variable and is dependent on weather conditions. As always, we recommend checking the Whitewater Center website for trail status before visiting. The Whitewater Center trails are still available to the general public during the various Tuck Fest races and competitions. We do suggest that users check the schedule and plan around these races to maintain a better user experience for all parties.
Tuck Fest will take place rain or shine. Certain aspects of the festival may be adjusted to account for the weather conditions. The Tuck Fest website and Whitewater Center social media channels will be updated to reflect any adjustments.
Races and competitions will take place rain or shine. The Whitewater Center utilizes an automated weather detection system to track inclement weather approaching the facility. In the event that this system detects thunderstorms in our area, we will delay the scheduled start time of any race/competition up to 30 minutes before making a decision to officially cancel the event.
- You are responsible for your own safety at all times and you must exercise extreme caution during your visit due to the inherently dangerous activities and elements at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.
- The U.S. National Whitewater Center does not allow coolers and/or outside food and beverage. All bags are subject to search.
- The U.S. National Whitewater Center is a smoke-free facility. This includes electronic cigarettes and vapes.
- Pets must be on a leash and under the direct control of their owner at all times.