The first weekend of October is always a really exciting time for our family. Five River Metroparks teams up with Subaru for the 10th Annual Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience. It’s a festival that celebrates all outdoor adventures and activities, such as water sports, camping and more.
The Outdoor Experience grew from a one day festival to a three day event packed into one weekend. This free family event is located at Eastwood MetroPark in Dayton, near the Air Force Museum at 1385 Harshen Rd.
This free event offers hands-on events for the whole family. We love to go to watch the dog shows, canoe and kayak in the Eastwood pond and river. I love to watch the athletes show off their amazing slacklining skills. The first year of this event, the slackliners’ stunts were basic, but still fascinating. Today, they can do flips, splits and other tricks on a thin like with perfection. The line seems to get higher and higher each year. Amazing.
“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.”
Each year changes a little but always very exciting. Each year, the event offers free camping on the parks grounds. It’s first come first available, primitive camping. This is a popular event, so getting there early is always the best bet. Also, for Subaru owners, they get premier parking and first dips on special events- makes it great to be recognized for a great ride.
This year, yoga sessions were available throughout the day and evenings. They were relaxing and nice to do in the open, fresh air. The event also offered backpacking classes, free bike rentals and biking skill classes. They offered activities for the family such as disc golf, fitness classes, running and skating paths, geocaching locations, slacklining, snow tubes, kayaking and canoeing. It was a full day of fun.
There was also a chance to win $500 in outdoor gear with special challenging including fishing competitions and 5K races.
“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.”
With all this activity, you would think there couldn’t be anything more to make this event any better – but, the list goes one. In addition to all the activities, there were at least six food trucks, wonderful live bands, demonstrations, shopping booths, and free give-aways and over 20,000 people in attendance.
I can’t wait for next years’ festival. I’m sure it will be bigger and better than this year.
Were you able to attend? What do you like best? I would love to hear from you.