Things to Do

At Midnight on New Years Eve, Take a Hike

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Tony Maples Photography


You will be in good company if you show up at the St Joseph’s Halle in Fredericksburg at 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. There you will find a large crowd ready to bring in the new year with a walk, either 5K or 10K. Bring a flashlight! This is the home of America’s premier non-competitive sport, sponsored by the American Volkssport Association Club AVA 1.

Volkssporting got its start in Fredericksburg!

Kenn Knopp giving t-shirts

Photo: History of Volkssporting

The first club in the United States was the idea of Kenn Knopp of Fredericksburg, who had learned of the sport while visiting Germany. He proposed the first walk to the Bicentennial Committee, to be held in 1976 as a part of the town’s celebration. While there are many other running, swimming, and bicycling events, most are competitive, leaving out people who aren’t in good enough physical condition for the courses. Volkssporting only requires that the participants finish in the time allotted to the event. In this photo, Kenn is giving t-shirts to the last two finishers of the inaugural event in 1976. The club formed in Fredericksburg is AVA – 1. Now there are hundreds of active clubs in all 50 states.

Lady Bird Johnson walked in the first event.

AVA Lady Bird Johnson

Photo: History of Volkssporting

The midnight walk is 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. The start and finish are at St Joseph’s Halle, 212 West San Antonio Street in Fredericksburg. You can get a starter kit for $10, which includes a book to get credit for this and other walks, or just join in the fun and walk. For more information on the walk, check this page.

Fun and Fitness at the same time!

AVA Walkers

Photo: American Volkssport Association

Fredericksburg has three year-round events which can be walked at any time with registration at a local hotel.