Dark Side Festival at Mission Ridge-September 24th, 2016

The Staxx Brothers and its high-energy sound will headline this Saturday’s Dark Side Festival at Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort.  On stage, the Seattle band and festival favorite has been described as “a compact version of Funkadelic fused with rough, hard-driving R&B” and “quite simply the most danceable and hip shaking brand of rock & roll to hit U.S. streets since Motown left Detroit.”

Wenatchee guitarist Gavin McLaughlin will open inside Mission Ridge’s Hampton Lodge. His music incorporates classic rock, country, blues, jazz and pop. Music is set to begin at 8 p.m.

darkside2014photo20The festival, which celebrates outdoor adventure sports in the Wenatchee Valley and raises money for more local trails, opens at 5 p.m. Saturday with a beer garden hosted by presenting sponsor Iron Horse Brewery. Mission Ridge also will be selling food during the festival.

A guided 3-mile hike will leave from Mission Ridge’s Hampton Lodge for Marion Lake/Clara Lake at 5:45 p.m.; a 14-mile mountain bike ride will depart at 6 p.m.; and a 6mile trail run will begin at 6:10 p.m.  Since all the outdoor activities begin at dusk, participants are encouraged to wear head lamps and clothing suitable for evening conditions.

The event is a fundraiser for the local chapter of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and its trail building program in the Wenatchee Valley Foothills. All the proceeds from the Dark Side Festival go directly into new and better trails in Chelan County.

Last year, Dark Side attracted more than 350 outdoor enthusiasts and music lovers. “Come for a ride or a run or darkside2015ride1a hike. Or come just for the music and beer and food. It all helps a great cause,” said Steve Maher of AdventureWenatchee, which is organizing the event along with the Wenatchee Valley Velo Club, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and RunWenatchee. “The Mission Ridge area is unbelievably beautiful in late September. With the use of the lodge, we are guaranteed a fun evening.”

The fundraiser costs $35 (online at http://darksidefestival.eventbrite.com through Friday and at the door on Saturday). For the cost of admission, ticket holders get a non-timed mountain bike ride, trail run or hike on marked courses, one free beer or soda pop, and the live music.

Earlier in the day, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., EMBA will host its annual Devil’s Fest trail building work party, also at Mission Ridge. For more on that activity, contact Travis Hornby of EMBA at (509) 429-5729

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