This Wouldn’t Happen Without our Wonderful Sponsors…
What the MuRF??? No really. We couldn’t do this without our sponsors. There’s food vendors, gear vendors and sponsors, boat manufacturers, alcohol sponsors, and so much more. With so many good folks signing on to help with our movement it’s super important to us to thank each and every one of them. I will attempt to do just that in this post.
We’ll start out with our first ever sponsor, Jackson Kayak, out of Sparta, TN. The Jackson Family is close personal friends with Tom and myself and have supported us since the inception of MuRF. Each year they provided us a free Jackson Kayak off their whitewater line to raffle off at our events. This year they will hold true to that too. Expect a kayak to be raffled off from them Sunday, March 26th, at Noon. Winner will be randomly selected from a stack of raffle tickets at the admission booth. Raffle tickets are $10 and they go up for sale Friday March 24th at 9am. All proceeds from this raffle will be donated to our benefactor, Team River Runner – Nashville. Huge thanks to EJ, Kristine, Dane, Emily, Nick, Steve, and the rest of the awesome family at Jackson Kayak.
Liquidlogic Kayaks, from Asheville, NC, sends our river hero, Pat Keller out to MuRF to ship boats and to let folks demo the latest Liquidlogic creations. Test drive the Party Brrrap, the brrrap, the Mullet, a Flying Squirell, or a Remix while getting hands on tips and training from a World Famous athelete. If you’re a river person, then I’m sure you’re familiar with the term, “I am not Pat Keller.” Catch Pat at the Demo Court at Waterloo Falls Saturday March 25th from 11am till 115pm and on Vendor Row at the festival grounds both Friday and Saturday nights.
Our friends at Sugarlands Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg, TN send their love with a large donation of moonshine as well as special gifts for our prize vault. Last year the party went off all thanks to Rachel Elise, the TN rep for this great company. Rachel also owns a design company called Relise Designs. This company is famous for it’s Whitewater Junkie brand and the signature “Take it out and play with it!” kayaking shirts. Look for Rachel pedaling these awesome shirts at Vendor Row. Huge thanks to Rachel Elise with Relise Designs and Sugarlands Moonshine Distillery.
The Outdoor Experience in Cookeville, TN is the lower Cumberland Plateau’s premiere Jackson Kayak and climbing supply outdoor gear store. Each year, they generously throw in a ton of swag and killer prizes for our gear raffle. These guys will be bringing out a full fleet of Jackson kayaks to the demo court for folks to try and possibly buy for a killer deal. The Outdoor Experience has been a supporter of Muddy Rivers and Nashville World Kayak since the beginning. They’re located in historic downtown Cookeville, so go check them out while you’re in town for Muddy Rivers. They have all models in stock and can show you any of the latest Jackson Kayaks. A big THANKS goes out to Team OE!
Happy Yaker is a world class kayaking destination located at Rock Island, TN. Owned by Nashville native John Binkley, this cabin/ river outfitter is relatively new to the area, but they stand tall as one of the coolest guide services around. His son, Albie Binkley is a rising star in the whitewater kayaking community. At only 16 years old and after only 2-3 years in the boating scene is attracting worldwide attention with his daring Class 5 big water runs and getting so good, so fast. Albie is already a regional team member of Jackson Kayak, and Team OE. Happy Yaker supports Muddy Rivers through donations to our prize vault. Big Thanks to Happy Yaker!
Team River Scum is a group of Jackson Kayak river enthusiasts and is the creation of Atlanta, GA native, Nathan Madlock. Nathan is a whiz with film and kayaking videos. Last year he made our Muddy Rivers Festival video trailer (posted below). Nathan’s son, Garrett is another young prodigy in the paddling community. After spending a summer with Jackson Kayak Kenners youth paddling program, he joined up with World Class Academy, a moving high school that caters to paddlers. Garrett is pulling off some SICK moves now more than ever! Huge thanks to Nathan and the Madlocks for their support of our festival!
Advanced Roofing, of Cookeville, TN, is Tom Hehnen, our MuRF founder’s company. It actually operates out of the Spring Creek take out for the canyon section. Tom is responsible for a lot of the planning of the festival. He accomplishes this major feat with the help of Kelsie Prince, the backbone of the operation. Kelsie helps with organization and much much more. Thanks Tom and Kelsie for your contribution to the Muddy Rivers Festival.
Nick Cross, from Nashville, TN is our official Muddy Rivers booking agent for the main stage and the bar. Nick is also our Friday night headliner. Nick is a rising star in the Nashville country music scene. He shouldered the major responsibility of booking the musical guests out of downright love for his brothers and sisters in arms. As a former Army Ranger, he has personal experience. Hooah Nick Cross! And thank you for helping support MuRF!!!
My company, Music City Hardscapes/ Hardscapes by the Yard – Nashville, LLC, out of Nashville, TN is a hardscape company that specializes in residential Outdoor Living projects. Looking for an outdoor kitchen to entertain friends with? Or maybe a water feature to drown out the sounds of the city? Look no further than right here. Music City Hardscapes plays the role of co-organizers for the event and assists in the preparation, set up and tear down of the festival.
The Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association is the number one river conservation group in Tennessee. They helped install the Tennessee Wild and Scenic Rivers Act that protects rivers such as our Spring Creek and the mighty Obed. This group also hosts various water related training courses including Swift Water Rescue and Intro to Whitewater Kayaking. Each year they volunteer to come set safety at the event on the river and also donate a few spots in their training courses, which this year include Swiftwater Rescue, Basic River Rescue, and Canoe and Kayak School. Huge thanks to the TSRA for their continued support of the Muddy Rivers Festival!
World Kayak is a subsidiary of Jackson Kayak and is responsible for hosting our Big Air Ramp Competition/ Freestyle Competition that goes down at 330pm, Saturday March 25th on the 40 ft tall kayak vert ramp at Tom’s house. World Kayak is a community based organization designed to get new boaters on the river through friendly competition. A World Kayak Hometown Throwdown gives newer boaters easier ways to make moves and earn points. World Kayak Nashville was started by me about 5 years ago and the torch is still carried by Tom Hehnen himself. They donate us a massive box of swag and prizes to give away at each event throughout the year. Big thanks to Colin Kemp and the World Kayak Federation.
Dirt Bag Paddler Magazine is our official MuRF media sponsor. These guys and gals are all over the world and are writing stories about all their adventures. Created by several rafters including Mike Joseph, DBP dubs an ambassadors to different regions. Our local Ambassadors are Wes Breitenbach and Lauralyn Chrisley. Wes has written a killer story after MuRF the last 2 years and we’re looking forward to having him with us again this year. Click this link to check out some of Wes’s writings. As said by DBP Magazine, “You can’t cheat the Wallace!” The river Gods are always watching and Jah Great is lurking just below the surface. The Dirt Bag Paddlers will host a downriver race on the Class 3 canyon section of Spring Creek this year. This will be a timed solo race that will go from the bottom of Waterloo Falls to the surf hole at Tom’s house. The race goes down Saturday March 25th at 1pm. Meet at the demo court to enter the competition. Get your practice laps in now to be sure you take home the glory!
The Nashville Disc Golf Store, run by Nashville local Shawn Groton, is our official disc golf course designer and installer. Shawn has been with us since the beginning. He creates a self sustained 10 hole golf course for us on the June Bug Ranch each year, leaving us with a crate of loaner discs to first time players to use. The course is challenging yet beginner friendly. Go check out his store in Nashville near the intersection of Donelson Pike and Murfreesboro Rd today! It’s a very well organized establishment that is growing exponentially! Huge thanks to Shawn and the Nashville Disc Golf Store for their contribution to our cause!
Boots on Broadway is a non profit organization that helps musical artists get their original music discovered. Nate Thompson heads up this operation as well as Music and Your Memory, another non profit that helps people with memory related conditions connect with their former lives. Nate is a super stand up guy and has lots of musicians who help him out. Boots on Broadway is helping us with musicians this year, through Nick Cross. FYI: all 2017 MuRF musicians this year are volunteers, donating their time to help Vets overcome PTSD and other service related injuries. Thank you Nate, for getting involved with the Muddy Rivers Festival!
Jamhouse Designs is run by our super awesome friend, Scotter James. Scotter is responsible for designing this and our previous websites. He has done both jobs pro bono which is great. As a result I’ve had him design my business website which is also phenomenal. Scotter is a whiz with computers and anything tech related. Scotter has also designed websites for groundbreaking companies like Open Mic, and Bluegrass Bound. He is an avid disc golfer so look for him on the course at the festival. Thanks Scotter James for all your great work!
Gruntstyle, LLC is a clothing line run by VETERANS for VETERANS. Their apparel can be ordered online. They have graciously donated us a $50 girft certificate to go in our prize vault. Some lucky winner will get their choice of killer T-Shirts and apparel from Gruntstyle. Huge thanks to Roman Yurek and the entire Gruntstyle crew.
Shockerz Gearcom is a hand paddle company in Chattanooga, TN. They have been super gracious with us over the last couple years. The company is run by great folks, boaters who care about the whitewater community, and more importantly Team River Runner. Last year they donated 6 pairs of hand paddles for us to raffle off as well as a boat load of stickers and bottle buddies. Ben, the owner, is also doing his own campaign to raise money for Team River Runner. They have created some super cool Z-Drag stickers that show the right way to set up a z-drag should you need one to pull something (or someone) out of a rapid. This will be a really good tool to have on the river. They ARE stickers so they easily stick on anything, boats, nalgenes, you name it. Easy access for when you need them most. They are selling for $2 each, and a dollar of that goes to Team River Runner. It’s easy to order, just send them a message on Facebook or to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can send money for the stickers via Paypal. Their account is under that same email address. They will also be donating some of these to our raffle, so look for them there too. Huge thanks go out to Shockerz Gearcom!!!!
Walden’s Ridge Whitewater, owned by Chris Gibson, is Tennessee’s premium online paddling gear website. Chris is originally from California, where he hand tooled surf boards. We met originally on the banks of the Stones River in Murfreesboro, TN and became instant friends. Now Chris has taken over Walden’s Ridge Whitewater and moved to Chattanooga where he hand tools custom paddleboards and longboards for skating. It’s through Chris’s hard work that WRW has continued to grow and thrive. Chris will donate some swag and prizes to our raffle, as well as bring his gear and longboards to Vendor Row to be sold. Thanks Chris! We’re glad you’re with us.
Quigley’s Landscaping Services is owned by my friend, Dalton Quigley. Dalton is an extremely talented landscape designer with an acute eye for detail. Quigley and I work together, trading work back and forth. This is Datlton’s first year sponsoring Muddy Rivers Festival and we’re glad to have him on board. Dalton will be making a cash donation to our on site golf carts fund. This is huge for us and we are super happy to have his help. Thanks Dalton and Quigleys Landscaping Services!!!
Mid State Motorsports is Cookeville, TN’s main motorcycle and UTV dealer. They carry Kawasaki, Yamaha, Star, Kymco, and Husquavarna. From new and used sales, they have everything covered. Mid State also supplies golf cart rentals, which are vital to us. In years past we’ve just used our trucks to get around the festival grounds, but this year our truck trailer combos will be promised out to shuttling folks to and from the river as well as around the festival grounds. Mid State Motorsports are giving us a killer deal on golf carts to be used at the festival grounds as a donation to Team River Runner. Huge thanks to Mid State Motorsports for their contribution to our cause.
Wild Wes’ Elixer is back again this year to support our cause. This is my longest term best friend, Wes Branson’s creation. Wes works as a chef during the week which gives him an advantage when mixing his signature line of vape juice. Wild Wes Elixer is only sold online and in one key store in Wetumpka, Alabama, Heady Vapes. Wes will be at the festival again this year, but this time as a participant. He is donating free vape juice to give away in our raffle. Thanks Wes! I can’t wait to show you down Spring Creek buddy!
Heady Vapes is a premium vape and gift shop/ lounge in Montgomery, AL. The owner Philip Edward is a stand up guy who has no problem dressing up as a bear and dancing the night away. Heady’s line of custom hand made soaps and gifts are cool to the max. Heady is also the premier dealer for Wild Wes’ Elixer. If you’re ever in Wetumpka, AL, be sure to go paddle the Coosa and after check out Heady Vapes. Philip is donating gifts to the Muddy River prize vault this year so look for his stuff there! Thanks Philp!
A & B Taxidermy, located in Cookeville, TN brings all our Wild Boar BBQ which is available at the bar, free to volunteers and for a small fee to non volunteers. This business is owned by legendary raft guides Brinn and Ashlee Kiser. Brinn is pictured below in the first ever raft descent of 35 foot Waterloo Falls. Big thanks to the Kiser family for their contribution to our awesome festival!!
The Old Mill Camp Store at Cummin’s Falls Sate Park will be coming out to set up a booth also on Vendor Row!
Westroke.com will once again be in attendance at the festival, taking pictures for their killer paddling website. This company run by Kevin Todd and Michael Loftis, turns out tons of great reviews told from a more intermediate level paddler’s level. WeStroke.com has been in attendance of the festival since the beginning and before that, WeStroke.com were staunch supporters of Nashville World Kayak. Huge thanks to Mike and Kev! Looking forward to seeing you guys again.
Whew! That was a lot of writing! As more folks sign on I’ll add there information here. Huge thanks to all our wonderful sponsors. We couldn’t do it with out you! Hooah! We love our VETERANS!!! Before you go, Check out some videos from our video vault!