TRAVEL PICK: Virginia State Frisbee Tournament in Fredericksburg

And now for something completely different, albeit a bit of a hike away.

The Virginia State Frisbee Tournament is happening this weekend in Fredericksburg. The spectator highlight of the festival is the freestyle finals on Sunday afternoon. The competition involves two or more players doing sets of tricks in time to music while keeping the disc spinning with intensely snapped releases, fingernail delays, and body rolls, often ending in a gymnastic leaping catch.

The tournament includes a variety of events: disc golf, maximum time aloft (which is exactly what it sounds like), the tennis-like double disc court, and open, informal play.

The venerable event, initiated in 1977, attracts some of the best Western hemisphere players from as far away as Hawaii, South America, and Canada. Its popularity is partly due to its time capsule vibe. With manufacturers providing million dollar-plus sponsorships to the top golf players, the idealistic, egalitarian, alternative vibe adds a nostalgic burnish to this informal gathering.

It is an all-ages, family-friendly event. There are incredible younger players but a sizable number of the competitors have been going since the early days. And if the disc elite are a tight-knit group, they’re also a friendly tribe.

The Virginia State Frisbee Tournament takes place all weekend, April 22-24, at John Lee Pratt Park in Fredericksburg. The center of activities and food is Shelter H. Free to attend.

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