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GO Fest to host small, socially distanced events in lieu of larger celebration

ROANOKE, Va. – The annual GO Fest in Roanoke will still be happening despite coronavirus, but it will look a little different this year.

Officials say the festival won’t be at River’s Edge — it will be replaced with smaller, socially distanced events during the weekend of Oct. 16-18.

“We want it to be a weekend where everyone makes it a point to do something outside,” said Julia Boas, events director for the Roanoke Outside Foundation.

That weekend, there will be a scavenger hunt, two benefit concerts if health guidelines allow it and other outdoor activities hosted by businesses and clubs throughout the region.

“More than ever we need to gather outside, physically distant but socially connected.,” said Kait Pedigo, Roanoke Parks and Recreation special events supervisor. “We’re working diligently to set the gold standard for how safe events are done in our region.”

Last year, officials say the festival generated $480,000 in new economic activity. This year, the goal is to raise at least $100,000.

Businesses and locals are encouraged to pledge support through an online donation portal or by pledging a percentage of specific sales to the campaign. All proceeds raised will go to Project Outside, which is a fund created to support outdoor capital improvement projects, maintain outdoor facilities and help launch and support outdoor businesses.


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