Hidalgo Falls River Festival

April 12-13, 2008

Hidalgo Falls on the Brazos River
Near Navasota, Texas


The seventh annual Hidalgo Falls River Festival will be held April 12-13, 2008 at the TRPA Hidalgo Falls property on the Brazos River near Navasota. The festival, which is the year's major fund-raising event to maintain and improve paddlers' access to the rapid, typically attracts more than 200 paddlers and spectators. Dealer reps and outfitters will have boats and gear available for demos on moving water. Based on past years, many boaters will come as early as Friday to enjoy the nice play levels on the river and to camp in the upstream and downstream campgrounds. For a map of the property, click on the Hidalgo Falls website.

Saturday's events will include a 28-mile downriver race from Koppe Bridge Landing south of College Station to Hidalgo, a whitewater rodeo, movie presentations by whitewater expedition kayaker Sam Drevo, and musical performances by Conroe singer Brock Rodarte and Austin paddler and songwriter Danny Schmidt (whose "Adios to Tejasito" you're listening to now). World-class kayaker Dan Gavere will join Drevo for paddling clinics throughout the festival. On Sunday there will be a leisurely 3.5-mile float trip from Hidalgo to Hwy 105, a whitewater giant slalom race through the islands in the Falls, a head-to-head Boatercross race (depending on water levels), and an auction of paddling related items. During the downriver race on Saturday, festival goers can demo different kinds of boats, watch paddling videos, play in the rapids, or attend one of Drevo's clinics.

The festival admission fee is $25 for the entire weekend, $15 for Sunday only; children under 14 are admitted free (with parent). Registration for the TCRA downriver race on Saturday ($25) includes admission to the festival site, camping, opportunities to try out different boats and gear, and admission to the Whitewater Movie Festival and music performances on Saturday night by Brock Rodarte and Danny Schmidt. Volunteers who provide at least eight hours of help at the festival are admitted free (contact Patti Carothers patti@paddlesports.com). Directions to Hidalgo Falls: http://philosophy.tamu.edu/~sdaniel/location.html

Friday, April 11: gates open for early arrivals; gates locked at 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 12: gates open 7:30 a.m., close 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 13: gates open 8 a.m.

Here are some pictures (courtesy: Scott Coultas) of the 2007 slalom race and whitewater rodeo, and photos of the festival grounds (courtesy: Andrew Stone and Skip Morris) from the 2006 festival:

alternate road campground
Lower (Main) Campground

Campground canoe put-in
Lower Campground
Slalom Race through Islands

Morning mist on the rapid surfing surfing
Whitewater Rodeo

Morning mist on the rapid surfing surfing
The rodeo gradually yields to communal surfs

Morning mist on the rapid surfing Morning mist on the rapid
. . . which builds slowly until . . .

Morning mist on the rapid surfing surfing

it's time to flood the zone.

All proceeds benefit the Hidalgo Falls Improvements Fund.


Special thanks: Riverfest logo by Ben McCue

For pictures of the first festival in 2001, click here.

For pictures of the 2004 festival, click here.

For information on the 2008 festival, contact the following people:

Saturday downriver race: Eric McGhee (eric.mcghee@gmail.com)
Whitewater rodeo and slalom race: Bruce Litton (b.litton@earthlink.net)
Exhibits, demos, and classes: James Graham (james@paddlesports.com)
Sunday morning float trip: Randy Frisina (lilcreek2001@yahoo.com)
Overall coordination: Steve Daniel (sdaniel@philosophy.tamu.edu)

Information about the location of Hidalgo Falls, TRPA ownership, pictures, etc. can be found at the Hidalgo Falls website: