What is Friends of the Cheat?cheat-race-2012

Friends of the Cheat is an environmental non-profit organization based in Kingwood, West Virginia. Our mission is to restore, preserve, and promote the outstanding qualities of the Cheat River Watershed. Our day to day work includes: acid mine drainage clean-up, education & outreach, coordination of a citizen scientist program called CAPABLE, and recreation and river access initiatives.

What is the Cheat River Festival?

Cheat Fest is the annual celebration hosted by Friends of the Cheat on the banks of the Cheat River. Boaters, music lovers, and families enjoy a day full of live music, dancing, art, vendors, and fun. For athletes, we hold a 5K foot race and a Down River Race through the Cheat Canyon. Many fest goers make a weekend out of it and stay in the adjacent campgrounds. Cheat Fest serves as FOC’s primary fundraiser, and supports our work throughout the year.

How can I get tickets? 

Preorder your tickets online now to ensure your experience. Cheat Fest has a limited space that has reached capacity in the past. Day-of tickets are sold at the gate.


Whats the deal with parking?

Donation-based parking is adjacent to the festival grounds; please follow signs off Route 26.

 What’s the deal with camping?

Festival tickets do not include camping. There are nearby campgrounds in walking distance of the festival grounds; click here for detailed lodging information. Onsite camping is only available to VIPs, volunteers, vendors, and bands.

Will there be food?

Cheat Fest boasts an array of delicious food vendors with something for everyone, vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. In the past we’ve enjoyed BBQ, Thai food, paninis, wraps, salads, green juices, popcorn, sweets, and more.

Can I BYOB?  

Yes; pack a cooler and enjoy responsibly. Security will card. Please note: due to recycling restrictions, glass is strictly prohibited. Any glass smuggled in MUST be packed out.

Is Glass Allowed?

No! Glass is not allowed, this includes bottles & growlers (spectacles are okay!) please do not bring it. We are unable to recycle glass and it is dangerous to barefoot children and people walking in the dark. Be thoughtful. Don’t bring it.

Can I bring my dog?

No. Friends of the Cheat loves dogs, just not at Cheat Fest (ADA assistants excepted). For those who must travel with Fido, the reputable Mountain Laurel Kennels in nearby Cheat Lake offers great accommodations.

Is the festival handicap accessible?

Yes. Anyone needing special assistance may enter through the back gate; follow the signs to Teter’s Campground entrance at Beech Run Road. Direct advance special requests to cheatfest@cheat.org.

But, what should I wear?

Comfortable boots or shoes that can handle mud in case of rain.

Can I volunteer?

Yes! Besides the satisfaction of helping a great cause, volunteers earn free entry, a discounted fest shirt, onsite camping privileges, and free food and drinks at the volunteer cafe. Contact Kelli Geswein to sign up: kelligeswein@hotmail.com.

Who should I contact for more information?  

Please direct all questions to Festival Coordinator at cheatfest@cheat.org or 304.329.3621.