Camping, climbing, fishing, geocaching, paddling, slacklining and snow tubing and that’s just for starters.
Whether you want to take a walk on the wild side or enjoy being a spectator, the Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience offers opportunities for adventurers of all ages, ability levels and interests.
The Midwest’s premier outdoor adventure festival will feature two days of fun, Oct. 1-2, at Eastwood MetroPark. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a regular, Five Rivers MetroParks outdoor recreation coordinator Lucy Sanchez explains why the Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience is a must.
Q: For those who haven’t attended this event, what’s the best way to describe what the weekend is all about?
A: It’s the premier human powered outdoor recreation festival in the Midwest. It’s the community gathering of passionate outdoor enthusiasts who want to learn more and share what they know about outdoor recreation with others. We have over 400 volunteer shifts, 30 partnering organizations, numerous clubs and retailers who are all there to help participants get more involved in the outdoors. If you are already an avid outdoor recreationist, come to the event and find your tribe. If you are new to the outdoors, this event takes the fear and the price tag out of trying it out. We provide the equipment and the safety instruction for over 25 outdoor activities – kayaking, climbing, geocaching, fly fishing, backpacking, biking, disc golf, slacklining, snow tubing, youth and dog activities.
Q: If people have been to this event in the past, what is new this year?
A: Princeton Tec Rock the Night Hunt — new competition — $30 gets you a custom headlamp and entry to the Saturday 8 p.m. hunt where you could win over $500 in prizes.
Osprey Backcountry Loop — get fitted for a pack, then test it out on the one-mile wooded track. Fill out and return the Osprey skills sheet and get entered to win a free pack.
Kids Skillz Lab — hourly classes and clinics for kids, including knot tying, kids yoga, animal encounters, interactive stories and more.
Giant Aquarium — thanks to Fisherman’s Headquarters and the Sierra Club, visitors can get a feel for “Life Below the Waterline,” an interactive mobile aquarium that puts you face-to-face with our large native river fish.
All new Mad River Run lineup — thanks to Whitewater Warehouse, participants can enjoy professional kayakers and standup paddleboarders do flips and tricks in Dayton’s first whitewater feature. Additionally, participants with gear are invited to paddle with the pros and show off their own moves. There will also be a Women’s Whitewater Clinic on Sunday with whitewater professional Erica Mitchell.
To top off the lineup, we have two brand new water competitions that are free to enter – Bust Your Balloon, a relay water obstacle race, and the Pumpkin and Skulls River Hunt. Thanks to Twin Creek Canoe and Kayak Livery, a limited number of participants will also have the opportunity to take a kayak float on the Mad River at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day.
Ride with the Pros — after being amazed by BMX riders and mountain bike trials experts, take a class with the pros themselves. You must provide your own equipment and helmet. Great Miami Outfitters Outpost is the place to check out hot new gear from national backcountry manufacturers.
Trackstand Competition – hosted by Bike Miami Valley – is an all-day fun competition will test your ability and balance.
Q: So, there really is something for everyone?
A: YES! In terms of age – we have equipment to fit infants through adults. In terms of ability, we have shows, classes, demos, competitions and try-its to accommodate newbie adventurers to seasoned veterans. Additionally, our competent courteous staff and partners are willing to modify equipment or the experience to accommodate physical or mental challenges in many areas. We partner with the RTA to provide project mobility shuttles in our parking lot to help participants easily get to the event entrance. If you aren’t looking to get active, you can also have a great time enjoying over 40 scheduled high-energy outdoor athletic shows, live music on the Dayton.com Stage, Great Lakes Beer Garden, and over 30 classroom clinics.
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