Podcast: Tuck Fest -- the unofficial beginning of Charlotte summer -- is this weekend at the USNWC

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Summer in Charlotte is here. Well, not officially, but it sure felt like summer yesterday.

And, to me, this weekend’s Tuck Fest at the U.S. National Whitewater Center is the unofficial start of Charlotte summer — or, as I like to call it, Charlotte drinking-beer-outside season.

For this week’s The Good News Is podcast, we talked to USNWC Brand Manager (and C5 writer) Eric Osterhus about the event and all of the other things the USNWC has to offer.

If you’ve never been to Tuck Fest (I’m sorry/What are you doing with your life?) it’s a three-day festival April 22-24 at the Whitewater Center with live music and outdoor competitions.

“I’ve never seen a more exciting lineup at the Whitewater Center,” Osterhus said. “It’s just a remarkable experience to be able to have. … Combine that with the fact that you can come out and enjoy the outdoor competition and enjoy the activities, enjoy the craft beer, there really is some way to make an exciting three days for everybody.”

How it works: 

– If you’re into the outdoor competitions, you pay a one-time fee of $35 to run, bike, paddle and obstacle course your little heart out. (A full list of the competitions can be found here.)

– If you’re just there for the music and beer, you pay the $5 parking fee and … that’s it. Hang out and enjoy the music and scenery.

The music lineup: 

Friday headliner: St. Paul & The Broken Bones (Opening act: Los Colognes).

Saturday headliner: Langhorne Slim & The Law (Opening acts: Jamie Mclean Band, Major and The Monbacks, Phil Cook, and Ryan Montbleau).

Sunday headliner: Dawes (Opening acts: The Oh Hellos, and Family and Friends).

While we had Osterhus in the room, we also asked about:

– How in the world Charlotte got the USNWC in the first place. (The original plan was to have it where the N.C. Music Factory is now.)

– What you can do, eat and drink at the Whitewater Center, and the new features opening at the center this year. (See our story from earlier this year for a tease about the new stuff, and this story for more info about all of the beer offerings.)

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– The U.S. Olympic Trials and how the center is attracting Olympians to the Charlotte area.


– Charlotte as a tourist destination: Where do you take people who come in from out of town to give them a true Charlotte experience? (We’d love to hear your thoughts, too.)

The Good News Is — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast with a similar mission to what we do here at C5: To get you CharlotteSmart, fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Corey Inscoe and Sarah Crosland.

As always, you can find our episodes on SoundcloudiTunes and now Stitcher. You can follow us on Twitter @TheGoodNewsCLT, on Instagram @TheGoodNewsCLT, on Facebook and you can shoot us an email to

Photos: U.S. National Whitewater Center; Diedra Laird/Charlotte Observer