The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Preserve near Beckley will be the site of an off-road racing event and outdoor sports exhibit in September called Adventure On! Freedom Fest, officials said Thursday.
The State Natural Resources Division’s National Hunting and Fishing Days event is scheduled for September 9-12 at the Boy Scouts of America’s 10,600-acre campus in Fayette and Raleigh counties, concurrently at an event hosted by Grand National Cross Country Racing, said Bill Garrrett. , director of the Summit Bechtel reserve.
âSept. 9, 10, 11 and 12, the Summit joins our friends at West Virginia DNR, GNCC Racing and many of our other friends in celebrating a few things,â he said. âWe’re going to celebrate motorsport and have world-class athletes running on our trails. We will also be hosting the DNR Fish and Game Show, and the Summit is inviting some of our suppliers. “
Anyone who enjoys adventure and the great outdoors is encouraged to attend, Garrett said.
“We want friends, family and Summit supporters to come out, see the latest and greatest new gear – try out the new shotguns, ride the new motorcycles – and we’ll end the weekend on September 11 with a tribute to these people who have protected us for 20 years, âhe declared.
The event will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and will include a musical performance, Garrett said.
âWe believe that as Boy Scouts we owe a great debt of gratitude to our first responders, military families and Gold Star members,â he said. “We are currently working with a group that will make this a special concert for them and that will really end on a patriotic note.”
Tim Cotter, director of events for GNCC Racing, said the Morgantown-based company has already sponsored two other events at the Summit Bechtel reserve.
âWe think it’s the best place on earth,â he said. “We can go to many places in the United States and around the world, and there is no better place than the one we have here at the top.”
MNR Director Stephen McDaniel said the agency’s exhibit would highlight an increasingly important economic driver for the Mountain State.
âHunting and fishing is very, very important to the state of West Virginia,â he said. âIt’s almost half a billion dollars a year that hunting and fishing brings in West Virginia. National Hunt and Fish Days is how we celebrate this.
The annual exhibit, which was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, typically attracts several thousand attendees, McDaniel said.
âWe are really delighted to have the opportunity to present it to the Summit this year,â he said. âWhen you get here it’s so beautiful and it’s such a wonderful facility. It’s just a great opportunity to be here.
Governor Jim Justice said the adventure continues! Freedom Fest is part of the state’s economic diversification strategy.
âThis state went from being a state that relied only on coal and coal and coalâ¦ so what we did was we diversified,â he said. âWe have an industry that is growing within us. We’re absolutely on the right track with tourism and all the goodness that just happened.
Senior Editor Charles Young can be reached at 304-626-1447 or [email protected]