First Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience since 2019 ‘feels amazing’

Second day of MetroParks’ event ends Sunday at 4 p.m.

The Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience returned this weekend at Eastwood MetroPark with a 12-hour endurance run, live music, a dog competition and more. The two-day event concludes Sunday at 4 p.m.

The last event was held in 2019 and has been canceled for the last two years due to COVID-19. Dogs are allowed at the event and organizers ask people to bring a non-glass bottle for water and for any alcohol purchased as the event is low-waste.

“During the pandemic, so many people found safe ways to stay active and work on their wellbeing,” said Angela York, Five Rivers MetroParks special events coordinator. “We want to help people keep that connection going by celebrating health, happiness and adventure in the great outdoors.”

The event included opportunities to try rock climbing, fishing, mountain biking, kayaking and ultimate frisbee, among many other activities, and allowed for pros to show off their skills.

York said exposing people to new activities they can do outside leads them to value the outdoors more and want to conserve the beauty of natural spaces.

“If we get people out and doing fun things in nature, they almost inevitably learn to love nature and then that that leads them to wanting to protect that as well,” York said.

York said in 2019, more than 25,000 people came to the event and Five Rivers MetroParks are expecting at least as many this year.

She said after two years of not having the event, it “feels amazing” to have it back.

“It feels amazing because the joy I see on people’s faces here,” York said.

Anil Nagar said he had been coming to the event for at least five years before COVID-19, and he’s happy to have it back. The outdoor experience helped him discover activities he didn’t know about, like ultimate frisbee, when he was already an avid camper and cyclist.

“It’s just nice to be outside and see everybody that loves the same thing,” Nagar said.

Josh Beaman brought his dog, Blue, and said his favorite part of the event is the many dogs who come.

“This was our favorite event of the year,” Beaman said. “Of course, they haven’t had it the last few years, so we’ve been anxiously waiting for this to come back.”

How to go:

When: Sunday, Oct. 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Eastwood MetroPark (park side), 1385 Harshman Rd., Dayton

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