Five Rivers MetroParks has canceled this year’s Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience, Dayton’s two-day celebration of the outdoors.
The annual event was scheduled for Oct. 3 and 4 at Eastwood MetroPark.
Safety concerns for MetroPark’s staff, volunteers and the community during the pandemic led to the cancellation, according to a press release.
The event has many hands-on activities such as fly fishing, paddling and climbing that require shared equipment that cannot be easily sanitized and instruction that makes social distancing impossible.
Last year the outdoor experience, a celebration of Dayton as the outdoor adventure capital of the Midwest, drew 25,652 people.
“An event of this magnitude takes a year to plan and hundreds of MetroParks staff, volunteers, exhibitors, partners, sponsors and recreation professionals who travel from across the country,” said Angela York, the park’s event coordinator.
“To be good stewards of taxpayer funds, we have to consider the time and resources it takes to successfully plan and host a large-scale event that may ultimately have to be canceled per CDC and Ohio Department of Health guidelines.”
The weekend features dozens of exhibitors, live entertainment, hands-on outdoor activities and food trucks.
Five Rivers MetroParks is encouraging people to spend time in nature, whether it’s a back yard, local greenspace or favorite MetroPark.
“Your MetroParks and trails remain open, and we are encouraged to see households out and about in nature, exploring old favorites and finding new trails,” said Rebecca Benná, Five Rivers MetroParks executive director.
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