Never Stop Playing: NOLA Fray Hosts Carefree Activities for Adults Who Are Still Kids at Heart
NEW ORLEANS – A national "lifestyle services company" is moving into the New Orleans market with a simple goal: they want to Make Fun Possible – whether it’s during Mardi Gras or the end of summer, when festivals and social events seem to surrender to the stifling heat.
NOLA Fray, which is part of United Fray, brings the community together through recreational activities, meant to make adults feel like carefree kids again. Their social sports leagues currently include softball, kickball and cornhole. They also plan to host bingo events, scavenger hunts, and field days like the ones you competed in during elementary school (or coped with, if you were forced to race against a classmate while balancing an egg on a spoon).
“We create and share fun things to do,” said the Robert Kinsler, the founder and CEO of United Fray, which is based in Washington D.C. NOLA Fray entered the New Orleans market through the acquisition of the Southern Sports League (SSL).
The group will celebrate their debut in the Big Easy with two 0.5ks on Saturday, Feb. 9. The races, each dubbed the The Ultimate Underachievers “Run”, begin at 11 p.m. and 3 p.m. The routes begin at Miel Brewery (405 Sixth Street) and end at Tchoup Yard (405 Third Street). A brass band will lead the way. Pizza will be served during warm up.
Tickets ($43.05 until Feb. 2; $49.05 from Feb. 3 through Feb. 9) include four drinks, snacks, and race swag. Guests will also have a chance to sign up for NOLA Fray’s spring sport leagues.
Register and purchase tickets from www.nolafray.com.
“It’s just a silly tongue-in-cheek way to have a good time on a Saturday afternoon,” said Kinsler
Jumping into the fray
United Fray, the umbrella organization, was established in 2009 in Washington, D.C. and now includes DC Fray; JAX Fray in Jacksonville, Florida; PHX Fray in Phoenix, Arizona, and NOLA Fray.
“We don't really use United Fray in any public facing way. It's more of a corporate, legal entity brand that operates behind the scenes,” said Kinsler.
DC Fray comprises nearly 60,000 participants, along with people who read their #FRAYLIFE blog about upcoming entertainment events, and their content posted on social media sites. The organization also hosts an annual fundraiser in the form of a kickball tournament. According to Kinsler, over the past four years, DC Fray has helped “raise over six figures” for a charity in the Washington D.C. area.
Kinsler hopes NOLA Fray represents the New Orleans community, along with the businesses within it, and one day boasts the same success as DC Fray.
“We're actively looking for partners and community members that want to get involved in different ways,” said Kinsler, noting that those partners may be individuals, bars, or restaurants who host an event; referees in the sports leagues; and the bus drivers that take people on field trips. NOLA Fray’s collection of events will help local businesses grow, said Kinsler.
“Everything we do couldn't be done without teamwork and effort from lots of people,” he said. “We pull all the pieces together, and our members take it and run with it and really have a great time.”
In addition to playful competitions, NOLA Fray will host speed dating events and outings centered around something New Orleanians love – good food. The #FRAYLIFE Blog will highlight festivals, day trips, restaurants, concerts, and basically the “coolest things to do” in the city.
Ilana Obuchowski, a Tulane University graduate, is the city commissioner.
“We’re excited to be in New Orleans. It's an amazing city with such a great culture and vibrant community,” said Kinsler. “2019 is going to be a great year for NOLA Fray and our community.”
Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur is the associate news editor for Biz New Orleans