FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Overland Expo normally brings more than 20,000 off-road and camping enthusiasts to Flagstaff at the beginning of the summer. But this year, the pandemic has forced these "overlanders" to log-on for their dose of seminars, gear and the newest off-road rigs.
Overlanding is a niche that combines vehicle-based travel, the outdoors and the idea that traveling to the destination is a big part of the adventure.
"The overlanding community has been incredibly understanding and supportive of our decision to postpone all in-person Overland Expo events due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. We are delighted to bring overlanders together again virtually this summer and continue the legacy of education and inspiration online," said Jessica Kirchner, who is the vice president of marketing and communications for Lodestone Events.
The virtual Overland Expo will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Arizona time on Saturday. It will combine the Expo's website, YouTube and Instagram pages, and is free for participants.
"We have classes rolling out on YouTube all day, so we have a set of people who are really focused on watching the classes. On our website, we have all of our show specials. So just like you would go to Overland Expo in person to get a great deal on a rooftop tent or a new bumper setup, we'll have a ton of people who are keying in just to shop," said Eva Rupert, who is the emcee for the event.
"We have the virtual campground, where all the community comes together. They put photos of their rigs into this campground so they can win prizes and they can also go live on Instagram with me throughout the day for a chance to win more prizes. I will be doing interviews with all of our different sponsors and exhibitors and community members throughout the day, so all these different facets are coming together to make a really great event for the weekend," said Rupert.
You can access the Virtual Overland Expo site here.