Keep up here with Occoneechee Events, Programs & Friends’ Activities

A Few of the Programs at Occoneechee

Whoo’s Awake, Owl Calling – Learn about some of the common owls in the area, and see if we can get a few of them to respond to our calls.

Campfire 101 – Campfires can be tricky.  Join us as we build our campfire and we’ll show you the basics of making a one-match campfire . . . or even a no-match campfire.

Creatures of the Night: Night Hike – Experience the forest the way nocturnal animals do, and explore the way their senses are different than ours.

Hayride – Join us for a fun hayride tour of the park., hear the history of the park and the lake, and hear the story of the Occoneechi Indians.

Please visit the Virginia State Parks Events Page for dates, times, and other information.

To contact the park for more information, please call the Park Office at (434) 374-2210.


Occoneechee Plays Host to Governor’s Annual Fishing Challenge

Gov. Ralph Northam kicked off his second annual fishing challenge at Occoneechee State Park on Saturday as part of his five-day tour of Virginia’s state parks.

The event was open to state employees, their families, and retired state employees.

Occoneechee Park Manager Scott Shanklin was excited and honored that the governor chose Occoneechee State Park for the second annual fishing challenge. Many of the participants stayed overnight in the park’s cabins.

Northam, himself an avid fisherman, said he was looking forward to joining the anglers. He and his wife Pam were on the lake at 7 a.m. to start the challenge.

Participants had the option of fishing from the shoreline, a boat, or a kayak. The fishing pier is great for safely learning the basic bass fishing tips and techniques without getting in the water. The event took place during the DGIF free fishing days, so participants did not have to buy a fishing license.

Dan Michaelson, the biologist for Buggs Island Lake, explained that the anglers were primarily fishing for large-mouth bass, but the reservoir is teeming with several fish species, including striped bass, catfish, sunfish, gars, grass carp, drum fish, crappie and more.

Annual Special Events

The second Saturday in May is the Annual Native American Heritage Festival. Spend the day at beautiful Occoneechee State Park and experience the song and dance celebration of Native American Dancers and Drums.

Enjoy freshly prepared native foods, shop with craft vendors, and visit the park Native American museum.

The third Saturday in May is the Annual Jazz by the Lake Festival. Relax and enjoy the beauty of Buggs Island Lake while a variety of professional and student musicians bring you the wonderful sounds of jazz! More information can be found on the website of the Southside VA Jazz Society.

Check the Virginia State Parks Events Page for other Special Events such as Easter Programs and Fall Programs.

New Lineup of Headliners Just Announced!

Some of the old familiar and plenty of new talent on stage at the May 7th Jazz by the Lake Festival.

Veronica Swift and Tyler Lindsay with the Virginia Junior All-Star Jazz Band.
Sneak Preview – Monika Herzig, piano; Kip Williams, drums; Michael Hawkins bass on the patio at Cooper’s Landing Inn, Clarksville, Friday evening May 6.

One of the hottest blues bands in the Raleigh and Triangle area, the Josh Preslar Band will headline the upcoming Jazz by the Lake Festival. Boo Hanks will be joined by 2 other Piedmont Blues performers. More to hear this year out of Gilbert Baskerville, Kip Williams, Michael Hawkins, and the Decatur Street Band.

“Wheels for Lungs” Car and Bike Show to Benefit Lung Transplant Research

(CLARKSVILLE, VA) – Occoneechee State Park will host “Wheels for Lungs,” a car and bike show to benefit the Lung Transplant Foundation, on Saturday, Sept. 29. In the event of rain, the show will take place on Sept. 30.

On-site registration at the park will take place 8 – 11 a.m., with the event to be held from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Registration fee for show participants is $30, with all proceeds going to the Lung Transplant Foundation. The first 50 entrants will receive a commemorative dash plaque. For spectators, a parking fee of $3 applies.

Organizers expect a wide variety of classic cars, muscle cars, and customized bikes to participate in this inaugural benefit. This family friendly event will also feature a DJ, a moonwalk for kids, a food vendor with hotdogs and hamburgers, various other vendors, and some surprise guests.

Event organizer Stan Medlin explained, “After I received a double lung transplant two and a half years ago, I wanted to do something to raise more money for research.” Since he loves cars and bikes, he formulated the idea for “Wheels for Lungs.” Medlin, who has a home in Clarksville, figured that Occoneechee State Park would be the perfect site for the event. The park offers plenty of parking, as well as camping and cabins for those who want to stay overnight.

According to Medlin, rejection is a big problem for lung transplant recipients. The Lung Transplant Foundation engages in research to determine the cause of rejection and improve outcomes for recipients.

The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

For more information about Virginia State Parks activities and amenities or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK.

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