Shippensburg University students and community members alike congregated at Shippensburg Station Friday night for Shippensburg’s annual TrailFest.
TrailFest is organized by the Cumberland Valley Rails to Trails Council as a community outreach event.
Trailfest began in 2017 and is normally accompanied by a brewfest which is presented by the Shippensburg Historical Society.
The brewfest brings in local breweries and wineries such as Appalachian Brewing Co., Grand Illusion Hard Cider and Castlerigg Winery. Live music and food trucks are also present at the festival.
In order to make the festival possible amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the date was moved from late April to September.
“What we decided to do was combine it [Trailfest] with our Ship First Fridays, which we have every first Friday of the month, we basically have everything we have here on First Fridays, and then we brought in the races we have for TrailFest to combine them all together,” Rails to Trails Council member Allen Dieterich-Ward said.
Masks were not required to participate in the races, but were mandatory for the festival portion. Tables were spaced out to enforce social distancing and food trucks served pre-packaged meals instead of cooking on-site.
A 25k bike race and 10k and 5k runs accompanied the food and entertainment.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, each race had a limited number of participants. In addition to the lower number of participants, start times were staggered to keep the rail trail less crowded and make social distancing easier.
Online pre-registration was also required to limit contact with others on the day of the race.
Ship Live provided students who attended vouchers that were worth $10 and could be used at any of the food trucks or at restaurants taking Raider Bucks.
Raider Bucks is a new initiative similar to Penn State’s Lion Cash program, where students can use their flex dollars at local businesses.