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Virginia Beach mayor announces 'Jackalope' sports festival coming to Oceanfront

Mayor Bobby Dyer said the three-day sporting event would take place in June 2023.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — City leaders said they are focused on summers of the future in Virginia Beach.

During his State of the City address on Wednesday, Mayor Bobby Dyer said that included a huge festival that would be coming to the Oceanfront in 2023.

“Jackalope is an adrenaline junkie's dream,” explained Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick Duhaney.

The Jackalope Festival is described as a three-day, action-packed sporting event that will kick off on June 3, 2023.

“Skateboarding, base jumping, rock climbing, surfing and more,” Dyer promised.

It’s a longstanding event in Canada. When it comes to Virginia Beach, it will mark its U.S. debut.

“It will also feature graffiti art, music performances, food trucks and much more,” Duhaney said.

City leaders kept excitement elevated at the State of the City address, also announcing a new expansion for Virginia Beach-based technology company DroneUp.

Duhaney said a big investment from Walmart is allowing the company to expand from 100 jobs to 600.

“With 40% of the jobs residing in Hampton Roads,” Duhaney said.

Dyer acknowledged the tolls the pandemic took on the city. Leaders are launching VBThrive to provide long-term support for more than 50,000 families in Virginia Beach.

Duhaney said that would help with “mentoring, housing, workforce readiness."

Growing offshore wind with Dominion Energy still is a big focus. During his address, Dyer said the city also is getting to work on the flood protection program for which people voted in November 2021.

“This comprehensive program will provide fiscally sustainable, long term flood protection,” Dyer said.

Dyer was excited for the growth the city will see.

“Our goal is to be the template for the commonwealth and our nation on how a city can come together with resilience and tenacity,” he said.

Next up in the State of the City series is Chesapeake. Mayor Rick West takes the podium to give his address on March 24.

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