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With over 15,000 visitors every year, the Outdoor Experience is one of the largest festivals celebrating the outdoor lifestyle in the Midwest!
What started 10 years ago as an event to highlight outdoor gear has grown to a two-day festival featuring almost every outdoor adventure sport in which that gear is used.
The Midwest’s premier outdoor adventure festival returns Oct. 7 & 8 with expanded weekend hours
Explore the active side of Dayton with the whole family at Five Rivers MetroParks’ 2017 Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience. Again this year, the event will feature two days of outdoor adventure from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at Eastwood MetroPark, 1385 Harshman Road in Dayton. Admission and parking are free.
Extended event hours offer new experiences, including the Princeton Tec Rock the Night Hunt for a chance to win up to $500 in gear. During the day, participate in hands-on activities and clinics run by the pros.
“The public asked for more daytime hours, and we listened,” said Lucy Sanchez, outdoor recreation coordinator for Five Rivers MetroParks. “By extending the event’s hours and moving to a Saturday through Sunday schedule, we’re able to engage more families and offer more of what people love: new, exciting ways to experience the outdoors.”
Try an Outdoor Adventure
Try your hand at more than 25 outdoor activities, open to all ages and skill levels, in various experience areas throughout Eastwood MetroPark. Add to your knowledge at the Bike Village and get rolling on the pumptrack. Build outdoor living skills at the Outdoor School and discover backcountry camping at the Osprey Backcountry Zone. Children can try a variety of outdoor activities at the Youth Adventure Zone, including animal encounters, climbing and nature play. Other activities include:
Watch Outdoor Adventure Demos
Festival-goers can view freestyle kayakers on the Mad River Run, thanks to support from Whitewater Warehouse, and over-the-top Slackline Stunt Duels. The Inspired Stunt Shows team will take BMX tricks to new heights, while the Craig Wright BikeStuntShow features unbelievable mountain bike skills. Watch the Team Zoom disc dogs, presented by Best Breed, and bring your own pet to get in on the fun at the Bark Zone.
Compete in the Great Outdoors
Attendees also can enter several competitions, including the ORRRC State Champion 12-hour endurance run or Vibram Disc Golf Challenge on a special course created just for the Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience. Other competitions include:
Vendors, Contests, Music and More
A used gear area will be open for selling and buying, on-site exhibitors will offer new equipment for purchase, and local clubs will link festival-goers with upcoming area events. The Ultimate Gear Giveaway offers visitors a chance to win outdoor gear from exhibitors and local business. Tag your family’s outdoor recreation pictures on social media for a chance to win the Osprey Outfit a Family Photo Contest, presented by Great Miami Outfitters. Sign-ups for the Ultimate Gear Giveaway and the Princeton Tec Rock the Night Hunt can be completed at the event; guidelines for contests can be found online.
Entertainment & Food Trucks
Enjoy live music on the Dayton.com Music Stage. Programmed by 91.3-FM WYSO, the musical lineup features some of the best acts in the Dayton region. Fill up with a variety of options from local food trucks, and grab a beverage from the Great Lakes Brewing Company Food & Beer Garden.
This year’s vendors also have committed to the festival’s Waste Free initiative and will not sell plastic water bottles and will serve food on compostable or locally recyclable materials. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own water bottle and pint mug.
Camp for the weekend!
Bring a tent and camp for the weekend on the banks of the Eastwood lagoon. Campsites are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited space will be available for small pop-up campers, too.
Take your involvement one step further and volunteer with the Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience. Contact Jenny Hymans in volunteer services at 937-275-PARK (7275) or email firstname.lastname@example.org before Sept. 21.
“This event has grown to become the region’s premier outdoor adventure festival thanks to the dedication of our volunteers, staff, exhibitors and sponsors,” Brent Anslinger, Five Rivers MetroParks outdoor recreation program manager, said of the Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience, previously the Midwest Outdoor Experience. “Not only is this event a celebration that brings the outdoor community together, it is the perfect occasion for families to experience their natural surroundings in new, inspiring ways.”
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