Festival FAQs

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Who is Friends of the Cheat? Friends of the Cheat is an environmental non-profit organization based out of Kingwood, WV. Our mission is to restore, preserve, and promote the outstanding qualities of the Cheat River Watershed. Our day to day work includes, acid mine drainage remediation, education and outreach, coordination of a citizen science program, and recreation and river access initiatives.

What is Cheat Festival? Cheat Festival is a annual celebration hosted by Friends of the Cheat on the banks of the Cheat River. Boaters, music lovers, and families enjoy a day full of live music, dancing, art, vendors, and fun. For the athletes, we hold a 5K foot race and a down river race through the canyon section of the Cheat. Many fest goers make a weekend out of it and stay in the adjacent campgrounds. Cheat Fest serves as FOC’s primary annual fundraiser, and supports our work throughout the year.

How can I get tickets? Advance tickets are sold online and at select local businesses for $15 through April 27, 2015. Day-of tickets are sold at the gate for $20 – cash or check only.

Is parking available?  Yes, donation-based parking is adjacent to the festival grounds; please follow signs off Route 26. All donations benefit Wesley United Methodist Church’s utility assistance fund, serving Preston County residents in need.

What’s the deal with camping?  Festival tickets do not include camping. There are nearby campgrounds in walking distance of the festival grounds; click here for detailed lodging information. Onsite camping is only available to volunteers, vendors, and bands.

Will there be food?  Cheat Fest boasts an array of delicious food vendors with something for everyone, vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. In the past we’ve enjoyed BBQ, Thai food, paninis, wraps, salads, green juices, popcorn, sweets, and more.

Can I BYOB?  Yes; pack a cooler and enjoy responsibly. Security will card. Please note: due to recycling restrictions, glass is strictly prohibited. Any glass smuggled in MUST be packed out.

Can I bring my dog?  No. Friends of the Cheat loves dogs, just not at Cheat Fest (ADA assistants excepted). For those who must travel with Fido, the reputable Mountain Laurel Kennels in nearby Cheat Lake offers great accommodations.

Is the festival handicap accessible? Yes. Anyone needing special assistance may enter through the back gate; follow the signs to Teter’s Campground entrance at Beech Run Road. Direct advance special requests to cheatfest@cheat.org.

What should I wear?  Boots or shoes that can handle mud in case of rain.

Can I volunteer?  Yes! Besides the satisfaction of helping a great cause, volunteers earn free entry, a discounted fest shirt, onsite camping privileges, and free food and drinks at the volunteer cafe. Contact Kelli Geswein to sign up: kelligeswein@hotmail.com.

Who should I contact for more information?  Please direct all questions to Festival Coordinator Ellie Bell at cheatfest@cheat.org or 304.329.3621.

See you there!

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Cheat River Festival

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