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Virginia State Parks encouraging people to "Opt Outside" this Black Friday

Grayson Highlands, home to wild ponies. (Photo by Brit Stack)

Virginia State Parks are sponsoring "Opt Outside" events this Black Friday.

This is the eighth year for the #OptOutside events.

The planned activities at parks are meant to encourage people to get outside instead of shopping on Black Friday.

A photo contest with a $500 gift certificate for the top prize, is just part of the campaign.

Photos must be taken at a Virginia state park between Nov. 22 and 25. Individuals may submit up to five photos; contest details and rules are here.

"Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to get outdoors and burn off some post-turkey calories," said Virginia State Parks Director Craig Seaver. "There will be plenty of programs in parks throughout the state, so bring the whole family out and create some Thanksgiving memories."

The 38 Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

For more information about offerings in Virginia State Parks, visit www.VirginiaStateParks.gov or call 800-933-7275, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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