Flip Flop Festival to Celebrate the Appalachian Trail and the Communities of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar

Date Published: Mar 23, 2017

HARPERS FERRY, W. Va. (March 23, 2017) – Come celebrate with the AppalachianTrail Conservancy (ATC) and the Trail and Town Alliance of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar during the third annual Flip Flop Festival on April 22-23. The event will feature a variety of activities, vendors, music and workshops for visitors to enjoy. The festival celebrates the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and the surrounding Harpers Ferry-Bolivar area, and also recognizes the new movement of “flip flop thru-hikes,” where hikers begin their attempts to walk all 2,190 miles of the Trail by beginning at its ceremonial midpoint. Admission to the festival is free and everyone is invited to join the fun!

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is very happy with the wide variety of visitors the Flip Flop Festival saw last year,” said Jeff Metzger, visitor services supervisor for the ATC. “This festival does a great job of bringing the Appalachian Trail community together with the Harpers Ferry and Bolivar communities to explore different ways to hike the Trail and enjoy this historic area. This year there will be opportunities for the public to learn about rafting, biking and rock climbing, which is new and definitely something to look forward to.”

Flip Flop Festival 2016 - Jefferson Rock

A Harpers Ferry National Historical Park ranger leads a guided tour
at Jefferson Rock during the second annual Flip Flop Festival,
highlighting the deep history of the surrounding area.

Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with hikers during workshops that cover many topics, including hiking for beginners, Trail magic and etiquette, and Leave No Trace principles. There will also be backpack shake-downs throughout the festival, where experts help educate hikers on necessary gear and the best ways to manage pack weight. Outdoor enthusiasts can attend additional workshops about other recreational opportunities and the rich history in and around Harpers Ferry National Historical Park that include the Underground Railroad and Storer College, which was created for freed slaves after the Civil War.

Flip Flop Festival weekend overview:

Date/Time: April 22, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and April 23, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: 760 Fillmore St., Harpers Ferry, WV 25425 



Live Music: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Food and Local Store Vendors: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Outdoor Recreation and History Workshops: 10:20 a.m.-4:50 p.m.
Backpack Shakedowns: 9 a.m.-noon, 1-4 p.m.
Keynote Speaker - Derick "Mr. Fabulous" Lugo: 7 p.m.


Pancake Breakfast: 7-9 a.m.
Flip Flopper Send-off: 9 a.m.
Outdoor Recreation and History Workshops: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Backpack Shakedowns: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
African-American History Hike: 1- 3 p.m.

For more information about the Flip Flop Festival, including a full schedule of events, visit www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop

About the Trail and Town Alliance of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar
The Trail and Town Alliance of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar serves the two towns as their steering committee for the Appalachian Trail Community program and the Canal Town Partnership, a coalition of towns along the C&O Canal Towpath. As a standing committee of the Harpers Ferry-Bolivar Historic Town Foundation, the Alliance’s goals are to promote outdoor tourism and sustainable economic development in the two towns, to promote outdoor experiences and use of trails among area residents, and to increase services for hikers, bicyclists, and other visitors to the towns.

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,190 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.   

Media Contact: Jordan Bowman                                                             
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.885.0794
Fax: 304.535.2667
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ATHike
Web: www.appalachiantrail.org

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