Fathers Eve — the annual pre-Father’s Day celebration of the dad life — will become Virtual Fathers Eve in 2020.
The move to an online platform became necessary with the likelihood social distancing measures and limits on large gatherings will still be in place in many states due novel coronavirus concerns.
“Even if everyone got the green light and all the governors and whatever opened up every place that could, I don’t think people are quite ready to go back to big groups of people in close proximity,” Fathers Eve founder and Twin Cities Dads Group co-organizer John Francis recently told the NOMADAD podcast.
So instead of groups of dads gathering in bars, restaurants and backyards, as has been done in past years, a roughly 40-minute live video feed of programming will occur hourly starting at 7:40 p.m. Eastern time on June 20. Each of the four live feeds will be timed to culminate in a local 8 p.m. toast to the joys of being a dad in each of the four mainland U.S. time zones.
Francis said that the virtual Fathers Eve feed will originate from his garage, the same place where he held the first one with a few friends back in 2012. The content will include messages from the event’s sponsors (disclosure: City Dads Group is one of them), a contest and — as is tradition — a pitch to donate money to a worthy cause. This year’s fundraising will benefit The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
The virtual Fathers Eve event is expected to be broadcast on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and the Fathers Eve website, where details for watching will be available when ready. Francis said he has hopes that, where safe and possible, some small groups of dads all around the country will get together to watch.
Francis started Fathers Eve eight years ago, inviting several dad friends to his house to drink beers, shoot some pool and swap stories about fatherhood while offering each other support in their efforts to become better parents. Over the years, dozens and dozens of celebrations have been held annually in locations all over the United States with some taking place as far away as Costa Rica and London.