Saturday, March 21, 2015


Backpackers, hikers, campers, mountain bikers, cyclers, boaters, trail runners, and outdoor gearheads, looking for a new, exciting way to welcome the long-awaited spring season?  Mark your calendars for the second Sunday of spring to attend this exciting local event!

    The 1st annual Rivanna Outdoor Gear and FilmFestival (ROGaFF), sponsored by Great Outdoor Provision Company, will be held on Sunday, March 29 at Fluvanna County High School, from 1-4 PM.  A suggested donation of $7 is requested for admission to support the FCHS choral department, and children 10 and under will be admitted free of charge.

    Virginia’s newest outdoor film festival is the brainchild of FCHS choir director and avid outdoorsman, Horace Scruggs.  “Fluvanna County has a lot to offer when it comes to outdoor activities.  We have Pleasant Grove and three rivers—the James, Hardware, and Rivanna.  The Blue Ridge is very close, as well as the Rockfish River.  With these assets, ROGAFF will be a great way to introduce these activities to a wider audience,” said Scruggs.  “The ROGaFF theme is "Get Inspired to Get Outdoors" and I know for those who are coming it will happen.”

    The festival’s film lineup includes three short filmsWalk on Water, the story of a paralyzed skier-turned-whitewater kayaker; Church, focusing on a trio of friends’ love for mountain biking; and Set Free—Loving Life on the Trail, a spotlight of ultra-marathon runner, Kristie Elliot.  The featured film is The Appalachian Trail—An American Legacy, which brings to silver-screen life the mystic nature of America’s most revered foot trail, and features insight into the Trail’s history along with interviews with AT hikers and personalities.

    An easy, 6.5-mile morning hike of Fluvanna County’s Pleasant Grove Park, adjacent to the high school, will be led by Andy Willgruber of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club starting at 10 AM to kick off the event.  Hikers should bring boots and be prepared for mud; the Grove can get sloppy with snowmelt and rain! 

    Doors open at 1 PM, and from 1-3 PM visitors will have the opportunity to listen to presentations by Great Outdoor Provision Company, Ragged Mountain Running Shop, and other local groups.  An array of camping, backpacking, cycling, and boating gear will be on display from a host of vendors, providing visitors a chance to educate and outfit themselves for the coming season.  The film showings will commence at 3 PM.

    “My dream is to have [ROGaFF] as a yearly event, which would grow over the years into a truly regional event,” Scruggs said.  “This will be a great family-friendly event for Fluvanna and Central Va., and as far as I know the only one of its kind in the area.”

    So, fellow outdoorspeople of Central Virginia, mark your calendars for this inaugural event.  Shuttle your canoes and kayaks to float the Rivanna River before the festival.  Take advantage of the trails and open spaces at Pleasant Grove.  Visit Scheier Natural Area just west of Palmyra.  Lastly, come out to ROGaFF and celebrate Central Virginia outdoors!

*Originally published in the Rural Virginian

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