GO Fest 2020 brings new challenges to keep Roanoke’s outdoor enthusiasts safe

Digital Originals

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — This year’s GO Fest hosted by Roanoke Parks and Recreation will look a bit different than previous years. The goal is to carry on the spirit of GO Fest while keeping everyone safe and socially distanced. The event has been broken up into three stages.

  • Stage 1 – Benefit Concert – On Friday, Oct. 16, and Saturday, Oct. 17, live bands will perform on stage at Maher Field part of Rivers Edge Park in Roanoke. Empty Bottles will perform Friday night, Lazy Man Dub Band will perform with Andy Frasco Saturday night, and The UN is headlining both nights.
  • Stage 2 – Event Schedule – Local sponsors and vendors of GO Fest in years past are invited to host their own small events to promote the great outdoors in the Roanoke Valley. These events will be posted to RoanokeGoFest.com, where anyone interested in the outdoors and GO Fest can see which vendors’ events are going on in the Roanoke area.
  • Stage 3 – GO Quest – This new event brings a new challenge to people while not forcing large groups to meet in one area. This challenge is sort of a scavenger hunt where you download an app called GOOSE CHASE. Once you have the app you create a profile/team and search GO Quest. At midnight on Thursday, Oct. 15, the GO Quest games on GOOSE CHASE will go live with more than 40 missions to complete in the next 72 hours. The GOOSE CHASE app logs your time and completed missions. The app also has a leaderboard to see where you and your team stand against the competition.

“This year we spent a lot of time trying to think through what the world would be in October, right… we didn’t know what that was going to look like in terms of the COVID and all of that, but then trying to brainstorm how we can maybe safely bring people together and still get that spirit of GO Fest and keep that alive.”

Susan Herndon-Powell – Outdoor Recreation Supervisor – Roanoke Parks and Recreation

To keep people socially distanced at the Project Outside Benefit Concert, attendees will purchase pods for small groups. These pods/tables seat up to six people and GO Fest volunteers will bring your food/drink orders.

“We’re setting up individual pods, so you can have up to six people in your pod, in your quarantine team… they can order food and beverages right to their pods. We’re really trying to limit folks from kind of going out and being around other folks. Just trying to keep this as safe as possible.”

Susan Herndon-Powell – Outdoor Recreation Supervisor – Roanoke Parks and Recreation

Winners of the GO Quest will be selected by what teams finish the most challenges. Winners will be given a few items donated by Walk About Outfitters who have been sponsors of GO Fest in previous years. Winners will be announced Monday, Oct 19.

“Epic team challenge, getting people to explore our regional assets and get outside and get active, which is for me that’s what Go Fest is all about, getting people outside.”

Susan Herndon-Powell – Outdoor Recreation Supervisor – Roanoke Parks and Recreation

The Benefit Concert and GO Quest ticket sales will go towards Project Outside which is raising $100,000 in additional funding for parks and recreation areas throughout the Roanoke Valley. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many area parks have seen upwards of a 200% increase in usage. This creates more wear and tear that hasn’t really been an issue in years past. Project Outside will also use the money raised to help improve area parks and recreation with better access and parking along with amenities that are sorely lacking in some areas.

Roanoke Outside’s GO Fest is still looking for volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering see RoanokeGoFest.com and click the volunteers tab under “Get Involved.”

The Benefit Concert tickets are still available at this time, but ticket sales for the concert will end at midnight on Thursday.

Registration for GO Quest ends Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 5 p.m.

For more information on GO Fest and GO Quest, click here.

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