Ridgedale Masonic Lodge to host Board Game Fest this weekend

Game On, Chattanooga

Chris Peyton, center, hosts a game of Werewolf, a communal, interactive party game, during the first Chattanooga Tabletop Game Fest in April. Peyton hosts a monthly game of Werewolf on the first Sunday of every month at Infinity Flux in Hixson. (Contributed Photo)
photo According to Meagan Frey, an organizer for the event, the upcoming Game Fest will feature a heavier emphasis on board games, a favorite of guests at the first event. (Contributed Photo)

Even the organizers for the inaugural Tabletop Game Fest held in April were surprised by its success.

"I think success, to us, would have been more like 100 people; maybe 150 people," laughed Meagan Frey, an employee at the Infinity Flux game store in Hixson and a chief organizer for the event, which was so popular Frey said there were people waiting in a long line when the doors opened at 10 a.m.

The event ended up welcoming over 250 guests who paid $5 for a full day of playing whatever games they wanted.

That success has led employees of Infinity Flux and its sister store, Game On Chattanooga on Lee Highway, to plan another Game Fest for Saturday, Oct. 21. Hopefully, Frey said, the event will prove so popular that it can be held quarterly.

"It seems like the appeal is there," she said.

This time around things have been streamlined, with a greater emphasis on board games rather than role-playing games. Introducing people to different games is one of the top priorities for the event, Frey said, and board games are easier for people to jump into, offering simple rules and relatively short playing times. After all, a large number of the 250 guests last time were families or young children, and being able to hop in and out of a game easily will let them find what they like easily.

The board game silent auction has also been streamlined with the addition of volunteers to help it run smoothly.

"It's a great opportunity for people to trade in something they don't play anymore, or to find and try something new," said Frey.

More than anything, Frey said the response to the first event was a sign that the board game community in Chattanooga is growing.

"I think people are aware of how board game culture has grown and that there's depth beyond Monopoly at this point," she said. "There are themes and games for everyone. I think people would be hard pressed not to find something they like."

The event is being held at the Ridgedale Masonic Lodge Oct. 21 from noon to 10 p.m. Entry is $5 for the day, and parking is free. Food and drinks will be available for purchase throughout the day. The lodge is at 1500 Dodds Ave.

For more information, visit the event's Facebook page at tinyurl.com/ChattBoardGames.