ALBRIGHT, W.Va. – Kayaking, music, camping, food, art, educational flora and fauna talks, a 5K and more took place earlier this weekend at the annual Cheat River Festival.

The family-friendly event was started to raise awareness for cleaning up the Cheat River after years of acid mine drainage pollution in the 1970s.

Lisa Maraffa, Friends of the Cheat Program Assistant and Events Producer, said you can’t find weekends like this anywhere else and is proud to be part of the organization.

“Since we formed in about 1994 or so, we have gone from a completely dead, orange river that would sting your eyes when you would try to boat in it, to we have fisheries that are successful. There’s boating and recreation and it’s come back 10-fold,” said Maraffa.

Cheat River Festival 2022

This year’s Down River Race was canceled for the first time due to heavy rainfall, but the mud did not stop everyone from having a great time. Even with the rain, the campground saw around 3,000 guests. The tradition was welcome after having to cancel Cheat Fest these past years due to COVID-19.

Cheat Fest takes place the first weekend of May every year.