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Wednesday, October 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

In its fifth year, Spokatopia adds a day, offers even more outdoor play

Phil Bridgers, right, of Mountaingear gives advice to Wayne Hill, who was trying out a kayak from Mountaingear at Spokatopia, an outdoor adventure sport event at Boulder Beach and Camp Sekani east of downtown Spokane Saturday, July 7, 2018. Thousands of people showed up for free clinics and to take free rides on bikes and watercraft provided by several local retailers. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Phil Bridgers, right, of Mountaingear gives advice to Wayne Hill, who was trying out a kayak from Mountaingear at Spokatopia, an outdoor adventure sport event at Boulder Beach and Camp Sekani east of downtown Spokane Saturday, July 7, 2018. Thousands of people showed up for free clinics and to take free rides on bikes and watercraft provided by several local retailers. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Entering its fifth year, Spokatopia will be bigger and better than ever.

Spokane’s annual outdoor festival will be a two-day event, said event organizer Derrick Knowles.

In the past, the one-day event has introduced people to different types of outdoor recreation while also teaching them outdoor skills and showing off the newest gear. For beginners, it’s a cheap and easy way to dip their toes into the outdoor recreation waters. For more experienced outdoor recreationists, it’s a fun community event.

Last year was a banner year, with between 4,500 and 5,000 people streaming into Camp Sekani along the upper Spokane River.

“It’s super fun, and the turnout was awesome,” Knowles said. “A lot of the demos were maxed out.”

The high turnout prompted organizers to add another day to the event, something they always wanted to do, Knowles said.

The extra day isn’t the only thing that’s new this year.

For the first time, there will also be:

Limited camping, with about 35 tent sites available.

Nighttime activities, including a barbecue, live music and a screening of the mountain bike film “Life Cycles” on Saturday.

Children’s story time, Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

A Black Diamond glow-in-the-dark gear treasure hunt: 30 people will get the chance to look for Black Diamond gear hidden in the woods Saturday around 9:50 p.m. To be selected as one of the 30, follow Spokatopia Facebook or Instagram pages. More information will be posted that evening.

- A SUP race on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. The race includes a recreational division and an elite division, with some elite competitors traveling from Canada.

And as usual, the festival will feature mountain bikes, kayaks, paddleboards and other human-powered watercraft. There will also be guided clinics in which participants will be able to try different types of outdoor recreation, including standup paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing and SUP yoga.

Regional outdoor companies and organizations will have booths.

On Saturday, there will be a mountain bike jump show featuring high-flying area riders.

For a full list of events and activities, visit spokatopia.com.

Knowles believes one of Spokatopia’s draws is that it caters to people who are new to outdoor recreation and yet also offers activities for “people who are more experienced outdoor enthusiasts.”

“It’s an event that we’ve really crafted for (all) people,” he said.

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