The name “Tuck Fest” comes from the Tuckaseegee Ford and Trail, a historical landmark located on the property of the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC). 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 USNWC on the Catawba River, Sadler Island is a visible reminder of the Tuckaseegee Ford and its historical significance.
All Tuck Fest music is free and open to the public. Standard U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) parking fees apply. Seating is not provided for the live musical performances. Plenty of areas for guests to bring chairs and blankets are available. Please visit the Festival & Concert FAQ for more information. Tuck Fest Terrace Access Passes are available each day for guests looking for an elevated experience.
Tuck Fest registration is a one-time flat fee that grants access to all races and competitions throughout the 4-day festival. 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
Anyone who has paid the one-time registration fee may participate in any Tuck Fest race and competition (with the exception of the Deep Water Solo comp which features an application process) once they received a Tuck Fest participation bib and bracelet. There are age recommendations and capacity restrictions for certain races and competitions that can be found in the individual race/competition details.
Anyone can apply to compete in the Tuck Fest Deep Water Solo Comp; we will have a limited number of wild card entry opportunities. In order to create the best possible experience for both climbers and spectators, the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) will select the top male and female climbers based on his/her climbing resume to compete in the seeding round. More details about the application process can be found HERE.
With a wide range of races and competitions throughout the festival, each event is different. See the individual race/competition description for details.
Tuck Fest Race/Competition registration does not include any Day Pass activities or Tours. Guests must purchase a pass or tour in order to participate in any of our land, flatwater or whitewater activities. Pass and tour options can be found on the U.S. National Whitewater Center website.
There is no fee for spectators coming to enjoy the Tuck Fest events, music and demos. Standard U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) parking fees apply.
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 ($6 per vehicle) will apply. Otherwise, there will be a ridesharing drop-off point on the Parkway. From the drop-off point, it is a half mile walk to the main facility. Ridesharing pick-up is available at the main facility with no fee.
For guests staying overnight, we recommend viewing our accommodations page. Overnight camping is not allowed 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.
If you are interested in being a vendor or event sponsor during Tuck Fest, please visit the Vendor Application page found HERE.
The U.S. National Whitewater Center’s (USNWC) trail status is variable and is dependent on weather conditions. As always, we recommend checking the USNWC website for trail status before visiting. The USNWC trails are still available 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 U.S. National Whitewater Center social media channels will be updated to reflect any adjustments.
Races and competitions will take place rain or shine. The USNWC 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 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 at all times.