What to expect at Dominion Riverrock

Our picks for some of the best things you’ll see this weekend.

Dominion Riverrock kicks off this Thursday and will bring athletes, musicians, and even dogs to the mammoth three-day festival.

Activities like cycling, kayaking, bouldering, paddle boarding, and more will be on display at Brown’s Island and Historic Tredegar. And while each event is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, here are a few events you absolutely should not miss.

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Red Bull Berm Burners

A first-of-its kind at the festival, this dirt cycling competition will pit 30 professional cyclists against a 100’ x 25’ oval course with two six-foot berms in this stripped down pump track. The average speed for racers will reach between 15 – 25 mph.

The head-to-head format will feature five-lap races to yield 16 finalists. Those finalists will compete in a head-to-head, bracket-style tournament to determine the champion.

The track is also open to amateur racers who may register at the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar at specific times.

  • Saturday, May 17th (professional races)
  • Sunday, May 18th (amateur races)
  • Amateur race registration is $25

Veterans Impact Project

Art on Wheels and sculptor James Robertson have put together a unique way to honor the country’s war veterans.

Participants will operate a Ballista, a Roman siege device, to hurl various objects that are symbolic of military service into large clay panels. The resulting 3’ x 15’ relief sculpture will then be permanently installed for public display.

Anyone interested in honoring a veteran must sign up online to participate.

Here’s a video on the Ballista:

  • Saturday, May 17th • 12:00 – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday, May 18th • 12:00 – 5:00 PM


Some of the most fun you’ll find this weekend will come during the slackline competitions. Professional slackliners will compete in three rounds of single elimination and will be judged on difficulty, creativity, and performance to determine the event’s top-four slackliners.

Here’s a promo video to whet your slackline appetite:

In addition, several pro-level slackliners will take to a highline above the Haxall Canal. There’ll also be a slackline available for us mere mortals to tackle.

  • Thursday, May 15th • 4:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Friday, May 16th • 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM


Top professional climbers will ascend the man-made 20-foot high bouldering cave that’s been called the “most unique bouldering wall ever constructed.” Whoa dang.

On Sunday, you can watch climbers compete head-to-head in a mad race to climb the bouldering cave in the fastest time.

Ultimate Air Dogs

One of Riverrock’s most loved events features man’s best friend. Dogs of all breeds and sizes will compete to see which one can get the most air in one of the most adorably competitive things you’ll ever see.

Here are highlights from last year:

Dominion Riverrock takes place Friday, May 16th – Sunday, May 18th.

photo by Ashley Jenkins

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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