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CHARLOTTESVILLE-An expanded outdoor Virginia Football Fan Fest adjacent to UVa’s Observatory Hill dining facility begins on Aug. 30 when the Cavaliers open their season at home against Southern California.

Fan Fest is presented by the Virginia Athletics Foundation and is held prior to each UVa home football game as an alternative to tailgating for fans attending that day’s game. It’s designed as an opportunity for Virginia fans as well as fans of the Cavaliers’ opponent to enjoy various activities and interact in a fan-friendly environment. Fan Fest is open to everyone at no cost and features games for youngsters and adults, a number of food options and live music.

“I hope every Virginia fan and the fans of our opponents make Fan Fest a pregame destination,” said Todd Goodale, UVa’s associate athletics director for marketing and video services. “The University has been supportive of our efforts to use this newly created area to entertain fans on football Saturdays. From live music to a variety of food options and interactive games, we’ve created a plan that will be fun for all ages.”

Fan Fest activities begin three hours before kickoff and end 45 minutes before the start of the game. For games beginning at noon, Fan Fest starts at 10 a.m.

Fan Fest opens at 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 featuring live music. The Cavalier Marching Band, cheerleaders and Cavman will hold a pep rally on stage between the live music sets. The live music performers for every Fan Fest will be announced at a later date.

In addition to live music, the outside activities include food vendors, a video games station featuring NCAA Football 2009, a skills challenge, a target toss, an agility run, an autograph station featuring representatives of UVa teams other than football and an area for face painting and face tattoos. A Cool-Off Zone will also be provided for early season games with cool air circulating for the comfort of fans if the weather is warm.

The gymnasium in Virginia’s Aquatic and Fitness Center that has been used for Fan Fest in year’s past will also be used again this year. Activities inside the Aquatic and Fitness Center include a target toss, the bounce house, an ESPN TV games projection and a photo station featuring player cut outs.

Food vendors involved in Fan Fest include Baja Bean, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Capital Meats, Zazus, Derricos Italian Ice and Raising Canes Lemonade.

Both Fan Fest areas can be accessed from Alderman Road.

For more information on Fan Fest, visit Game Day Central online at Game Day Central may be accessed from the link under Fan Zone or from the bottom of the home page.

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