Howdy Cheat Festers!

Spring is just around the corner – and Friends of the Cheat is kicking it into high gear – weaving together all the details of the 27th Annual Cheat River Festival. Sadly, Cheat Fest is VIRTUAL again this year, but we are planning all sorts of great content for you including: live-streaming music, our amazing Virtual Silent Auction, a new online merch store with some big surprises, the Cheat Fest membership drive, and some in-person, outside, COVID-safe events throughout the entire month of May! We’ll be loading you up with all the details in the coming weeks, but to start things off…


May 1st – You read that right – the Cheat Fest Downriver race is ON! Normally held on the Friday of Cheat Fest, this year’s race will be on the morning of Saturday, May 1st. No in-person registration though, so if you’re planning to race, please pre-register and note the details about shuttling, the 2 different heats, and our social-distancing rules. Keep an eye on the race page for any new details and developments.  Good luck, racers!

FOC is partnering with Morgantown favs, Gritstone Climbing, and the Cheat Canyon Climbing Club to bring you TWO climbing events during Cheat Fest month:

May 8th – Gritstone Ascension Adventure – 10:00am to 6:00pm

Morgantown,WV – Mark your calendars and get ready to see how high you can climb. This challenge is all about seeing how many vertical feet you can cover using routes of any level. For $15, enter the Ascension Adventure for a chance to win a Grand Prize. There will be art, a food truck, and music!

May 29th Gym to Crag2:00pm to 6:00pm 

Albright, WV – Explore the fundamentals of climbing outside with the Gritstone team. We’ll be meeting up at the FOC Campground (139 Beech Run Rd, Albright, WV 26519). There, you’ll learn about the history of climbing in the area, enjoy a guided hike, and experience climbing on real rock. Make it an epic Memorial Day Weekend by camping out at FOC’s campground afterwards!

*New in 2021 – Although Cheat Fest is virtual, we still want to see your smiling faces, so we invite you to send along a video with your thoughts. You can use your phone (horizontal video please!) or a camera, have a friend help or shoot it as a selfie. If you can be out in nature, even better! Here’s what we’d love to hear:

  • What is your favorite part of Cheat Fest weekend?
  • Why is it so important to you that the Cheat watershed is protected?
  • What are you looking forward to most in the future from the Cheat River and Friends of the Cheat?

Send along your video to us via this link by April 18th, and our team will gather them together to share with the Cheat Fest community.  We can’t wait to see what you send us!


There’s so much more to come!  You can always visit for the latest details, and follow the Cheat Fest Facebook and Instagram pages to stay up-to-date.