Whether it’s making the most of our mild winters or planning your adventures for the spring and summer ahead, Recreation Northwest has the event for you!
The sixth annual Recreation Northwest Expo, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 23 at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, is your chance to connect with the local outdoor community – find everything from free maps and guidebooks to back country outfitters and outrigger canoeing groups.
“We put the event together to highlight the recreational bounty we have here in the Northwest – the opportunities and the businesses found locally and throughout the region,” explains Todd Elsworth, Recreation Northwest executive director. “We have all these hidden gems that people may not be aware of, from unique parks in their own backyard to back country adventures they can explore.”
Here’s what you need to know about this amazing event, expected to draw close to 2,000 people!
- It’s free to attend: “As a non-profit, we are proud to offer this free event to the public and give them a chance to explore what’s out there on their doorstep,” Elsworth says.
- Explore the diversity: More than 70 exhibitors are expected, offering a chance to connect with leaders in the outdoor recreation community and explore new adventures. Meet northwest apparel and gear manufacturers, retailers, outfitters, outdoor media, activity clubs, stewardship organizations and representatives from your favorite local recreation events and races. Find lots of new ways to get outside and play!
- Make a day of it: In addition to some awesome door prizes, the StrEAT Food Cafe will provide delicious lunch and snack options, and you can sip a beverage from Boundary Bay Brewery while you browse the booths (please bring cash for the beer). Be sure to stop by the Recreation Northwest booth for cool merchandise, including “The Last Bag” – the most awesome Washington-made recycled bag whose profits support Recreation Northwest!
- Check out the economic impact: “The event also demonstrates the depth and breadth of the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry,” Elsworth says. For example, in Washington, outdoor recreation generates $26.2 billion in consumer spending annually and more jobs depend on outdoor recreation (201,000) than on the aerospace industry (136,000).
- Create connections: Bringing local businesses and organizations together not only builds connections with the public, but each other. “The expo is a great opportunity for exhibitors to meet each other and it’s cool to see some of the partnerships that come out of the event.”