State Parks, foundation celebrate outdoors at expo June 27

Returning for a second year, the Get Outdoors — Adventure Awaits Expo offers a chance to try out outdoor gear, meet with representatives of more than 20 groups and agencies, and enjoy free and entertainment.

Hosted by Washington State Parks and the Washington State Parks Foundation, the event will take place June 27 in Olympia.

The expo is one of a number of events being offered nationwide as part of the American Recreation Coalition’s Great Outdoors Month.

Visitors will be able to take part in a number of activities, including games, giveaways, check out educational displays offered by natural resource agencies, outdoor organizations and companies that produce outdoor recreation products and services. The Legislative Building also will be open for tours.

“National Great Outdoors Month and Get Outdoors Day provide a great opportunity for all of us to experience the beautiful parks and outdoor places that make our state so unique,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a news release. “This expo is the perfect place to find ideas for family trips and adventures close to home.”

The event will begin with a series of speakers talking about their passion for parks and the outdoors.

They will be accompanied by young campers from the Great Outdoors Capitol Campout. About 40 young campers from the Boys & Girls Club of Thurston County and the South Sound YMCA will take part in activities the day before the expo and then camp overnight on the lawn at the Governor’s Mansion.

Among the organizations that will be on hand are Washington Trails Association, Back Country Horsemen of Washington, Washington State Geocaching Association, National Wildlife Federation, The Mountaineers — Olympia Branch, Northwest Adventure Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, EarthCorps, Washington Water Trails Association, and Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia.

There also will be representatives from Olympic National Forest, state Department of Natural Resources, state Department of Health Shellfish and Water Protection, and State Parks’ Discover Pass, and volunteer and boating safety programs.

Also on hand will be outdoor gear companies such as MSR, Therm-a-Rest, Platypus, SealLine, PackTowl, Prism Kite Technology and Mountaineers Books

There will be musical performances by the National Guard brass band, Urban Sage and Eclectic Soul Project. Food will be sold by All Fed Up, Lupe’s Tamales and Tacos California.