Announcement of Jackalope Festival coming to Virginia Beach in 2023 creates buzz for local action sports fans

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Posted at 2:40 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 18:11:00-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – After hearing Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer announce that a new action sports festival is coming to the Beach, local businesses that cater to the active lifestyle are stoked.

The Jackalope Festival has been held in Canada for nearly 10 years, and June 3 through June 5, 2023, it will come to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

The founder of the festival, Micah Desforges, told News 3 this will be the first U.S. location for the festival and that he felt Virginia Beach was a perfect location.

The event will have high-energy sports like breakdancing, rock climbing/bouldering, surfing, skateboarding, and base jumping. Desforges says while most of it will be top athletes from across the U.S. and Canada competing here, there will also be opportunities for locals to participate in the sports.

Zach Funke, the general manager of Latitude Climbing and Fitness, just learned about it after Wednesday’s announcement and is excited to see what it will do for his business and the love of the sport.

"Virginia Beach and Norfolk have a pretty interactive community that likes to get outside," Funke said. "With rock climbing being in it, hopefully you know, our community gets to engage in that, and we’ll see some of the locals that are crushers, jump out there and compete in that whole thing."

John Fudala, a former pro skater and the owner of John Fudala Skate Camp which holds many camps and competitions, says he’s stoked at the idea of the Jackalope Festival.

“Bottom line is getting kids out and about, working together, challenging themselves physically, mentally,” Fudala commented.

Fudala says he’d love to work directly with the Jackalope Festival, and even if that doesn’t work out, he feels it will bring the community closer together.

“I’m sure we’re all partnering even if we are separate,” Fudala said. “The economy and everything else; we’re all helping each other anyway, just having these events. Puts the energy in the air.”

President of Coastal Edge, a leader in action sports in Hampton Roads, knew before the announcement about Jackalope Festival. He's thrilled to see another event taking place right outside his business.

"We want to grow tomorrow’s riders today, and action sports festivals like this one are exactly the way you want to do it," explained D Nachnani.

For more information on Jackalope Festival, click here.