Music and Adventure in the Mountains

June 6, 2014


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On June 5, ACE Adventure Resort celebrated the unveiling of their new festival grounds, which will host the Mountain Music Festival on June 6-7.

West Virginia Executive staffers Maggie Matsko and Amy Arnett attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was held overlooking the festival’s stage amidst the activities set up by the resort for festival-goers. The event also counted Congressman Nick Rahall, Delegate John Pino and newly-appointed Commissioner for Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin in attendance. The ceremony at 4:30 p.m. included several business professionals from around the state.

As Congressman Rahall cut the ribbon with ACE President and Managing Partner Jerry Cook, he said to the crowd, “This is what we’re about in West Virginia. All the people coming in this weekend will experience wild, wonderful West Virginia.”

Rahall’s love for showing off the state is sure to succeed at the Mountain Music Festival, with a projected attendance nearing 1,000 music enthusiasts. The festival’s preparations began in October 2013 after Cook had the idea to have a music festival that would show off the beauty and versatility of his 15,000-acre resort in Oak Hill.

Cook originally attended school for psychology, but after finding that his real therapy lies in the outdoors, he started ACE in Fayette County in 1979. Since then, the resort has become renowned for its whitewater adventures on the historic New River system in Southern West Virginia. People from all over the country, and the world, migrate to Fayette County to experience the Mountain State’s rapids. The resort also offers visitors opportunities in hiking, biking, climbing, zip lining, canopy tours and water activities on their resort lake, among other seemingly endless activities.

All will be on display during the festival that features twelve bands and highlighting at least four local bands. Attendees will get to experience music on the grounds that have been transformed from what used to be a pond and camping grounds into an approximately 10-acre area devoted to festivities and parking and camping accommodations for visitors.

On Thursday, four local bands Black King Coal, The Boatmen, The Wild Rumpus and Possum Holler Glee Club played a preview concert for a small crowd that set the tone for Friday’s performances by Brainchild, Spiritual Rez, Larry Keel &Natural Bridge, Wood Brothers and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. On Saturday, the festival will finish with a schedule from Big Something, Brainchild, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, Keller Williams and Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band.

Special activities are abound at the festival and include:

  • Sumo wrestling
  • Rock climbing
  • Yoga
  • Kickball
  • Volleyball
  • Lake passes
  • Bike rentals
  • Horseshoes
  • Shoot the Clown

There will also be activities held all over the resort, featuring zip lining, blob contests on the lake and obstacle courses. Local vendors have set up stands selling clothing, food and activity passes for the event.

After exploring the concert grounds, visitors on Thursday attended a Business After Hours event held in The Lost Paddle Bar and Grill, with remarks from Congressman Rahall and Tourism Commissioner Shuler Goodwin and Kimberly Gross represented the Office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.

“We have everything to offer here in West Virginia,” said Rahall. He explained that the New River recreational area includes the largest system of federally protected rivers east of the Mississippi, an achievement he helped accomplish. He also gave special mention to the area for helping to draw in the Boy Scouts of America to the region, giving them lush West Virginia scenery among an abundance of natural resources for adventure. The area has played important role in tourism, an industry whose role in the state’s economy is second only to coal. “Thank you for what you do, and God bless the great state of West Virginia,” he concluded.

Learn more about the festival online at or by contacting ACE Adventure Resort at

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