Held annually in Bellingham, WA the Recreation Northwest EXPO is moving from February to May 2, 2020 and expanding beyond the Main EXPO Hall inside the Bellingham Cruise Terminal to also include multiple outdoor locations in the surrounding Fairhaven District.
“The EXPO will also now incorporate the Community Boating Center and Marine Park for Paddling and Camping Demos & Clinics and a lineup of Camper Vans & Recreation Vehicles in the park. Bicycle demos, shuttles and entertainment will be staged at the new Evil Bikes HQ at 6th Street and Harris Ave,” said Todd Elsworth, Recreation Northwest Executive Director.
The EXPO has sold out in the past and has had exhibitor waiting lists. Activating these additional outdoor locations enables the accommodation of more exhibitors, expanding their offerings to get people to try out gear and new experiences.
Recreation Northwest EXPO is a chance for locals & tourists alike to meet face to face and talk with gear & equipment manufacturers, retailers, tour guides, coaches & outfitters, health & fitness, stewardship & education groups, events and races, public lands officials and recreation media.
Recreation Northwest anticipates and increase from 1,500 attendees in the past, up to 2,500. People will explore the variety of outdoor recreation opportunities to find new ways to get outside and play, inspiring many to return for extended visits in our regions. The EXPO is an opportunity for visitors to come get samples from a variety of outdoor recreation professionals to garner a taste of what they would like to try outdoors in the year ahead.
The EXPO is free to the public as a means to fulfill the organization’s mission: promoting outdoor recreation and bringing people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play.
“The expansion of our EXPO footprint to encompass and activate the surrounding area will breathe life into the lower area of the Fairhaven District with the integration of the Community Boating Center, Marine Park, Evil Bikes, the surrounding green space, trails and water access for the public. Moving the date into spring will allow us to get outside and give people the opportunity to test out gear, see equipment and experiences in action,” iterates Elsworth.
“We have been sold out, stuck inside, and bursting at the seams to show off more of what our outdoor recreation landscape in Washington State has to offer. This is our chance!”
Imagine walking down Harris Avenue from Bellingham’s Fairhaven District and your first impression is a colorful display at 6th and Harris, with booths representing local bike shops and guides, with demo fleets from the small local and major brands who carry mountain bikes, road bikes, e-bikes (lots of these) for people to try out right there.
Visitors can grab a test ride and hop on the pump track or single track loop at Evil Bikes’ global headquarters. Then grab a mountain bike and head out on the Padden Gorge trail to Fairhaven Park. Plan ahead and schedule a van shuttle to some of the more challenging trails on Galbraith or in the Chuckanuts. Save the best for last and try out the expanding sector of electric bicycles. They are just plain fun.
While all that’s going on, there will be entertainment, food and refreshments onsite to keep you moving. The entertainment will include pro riders showing off their skills in the Fun Zone and a Bike Rodeo for kids. All FREE. That’s just the beginning.
Take a 5 minute walk and get out of the sun for a spell at Bellingham Cruise Terminal EXPO Hall, filled with 75 exhibitors. A row of food trucks will also be available just outside the EXPO Hall.
The entryway to Marine Park will be lined with Conversion Vans, Overlanders, and other Recreational Vehicles. Visitors will be able to go inside and get a sense of what #VanLife is all about.
Marine Park will be transformed to resemble a campground, with familiar outdoor brands set up in the grassy area. Visitors can try out trendy hammocks, tents, sleeping pads, camp chairs and enjoy clinics on backcountry cooking, gear repair and other related activities.
On the beach at Marine Park, visitors will have an assortment of water craft to choose from. Eddyline, made in Skagit County will have their demo fleet available. Other exhibitors will have Stand Up Paddle boards (SUPs), sit on top kayaks and canoes, rowing shells and other surprises to check out. With safety first, there will also be specialty equipment to take for a test spin. Hanging out at Marine Park, will provide the opportunity to view on-water demonstrations and clinics led by Moondance Kayak certified staff and other groups/outfitters.
Recreation Northwest is a Bellingham, WA based nonprofit organization dedicated to outdoor recreation and bringing people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. It sponsors the newly launched Washington Outdoor Business Alliance to connect, protect and grow the outdoor recreation ecosystem in Washington State.
For more details visit RecreationNorthwest.org.