TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

South Side group sponsors wide range of activities outdoors

By Thomas Olson
Saturday, May 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Janet Frankert always had been curious about kayaking but never had put paddle to water — until Saturday.

“It's something you can pick up pretty easily, as long as you have some coordination,” said Frankert, 53, still in her life vest after taking a kayak out for a spin on the Allegheny River by Point State Park.

Frankert of Castle Shannon was among more than 8,000 people expected for an all-day celebration of recreation sponsored by Venture Outdoors Inc., a nonprofit group based in the South Side.

“This is meant to get people outside and familiar with all the activities in Western Pennsylvania, especially on the rivers,” said Alyson Walls, marketing coordinator for Venture Outdoors.

It has organized its annual Venture Outdoors Festival for 13 years.

Kayaking tends to be the most popular activity, usually pulling a couple of thousand people into the water each year. But the festival featured much more, including a climbing wall, biking, fishing (rods and bait included) and a host of games aimed at young children.

“It's a great day for this, just what we'd hoped for,” said Dave Johnston, director of marketing for the outdoor group of Dick's Sporting Goods Inc., regarding the sunny day in the 70s.

Based in Findlay, Dick's sponsored the event for the first time. The company also set up a “game zone” that featured horseshoes, croquet, bocce and other games.

Dick's was one of 66 vendors with activity or informational booths that ranged from yoga instruction to rivers preservation.

Ericha Geppert and family participated in an outdoor Treasure hunt known as “geocaching.” Players armed with smartphones containing GPS capability walk to about 10 destinations and try to answer a question about each site.

“It's walking and learning,” said Geppert, 23, of Friendship, who was joined by her mother, two sisters and brother, who purposefully parked in the Strip District to enjoy the walking trek to the festival at Point State Park.

The Howell family of Verona managed to take in two outside events: the Venture Outdoors Festival and earlier, the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community, a 5-kilometer walk on the North Shore.

“The mission today was to wear out the kids,” said Charles Howell, 39, with a broad smile as he stood with his wife and two young daughters.

Thomas Olson is a Trib Total Media staff writer. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or tolson@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Ramps reopen from East Ohio and Heinz streets to northbound Route 28
  2. Analyst outlines Klein’s supplements, prescriptions
  3. Police obtain warrant against North Side 17-year-old in Penn Hills shooting
  4. Movie studio owner building in McKees Rocks is $540K in red
  5. Pittsburgh still lags in accounting system for off-duty officers
  6. Slow-moving train hits car in Lawrenceville
  7. Ferrante defense questions recordkeeping of lab that tested cyanide
  8. Boyce Road water main breaks for 3rd time in 3 days
  9. Murky finances lost in grant process for film studio in McKees Rocks
  10. Police charge 18-year-old Penn Hills man in East Liberty shooting
  11. Newsmaker: Anya Lernatovych
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.