Did I mention it was as success? We more than doubled our participants and almost doubled attendance from last year! We were amazed! We had a great team of participants this year! This includes those that repeated from last year to the many new ones this year. Their goal was the same as ours; to share their love of the outdoors with you and to show how they can help to enhance your outdoor experience. Through everything we do, including these events, our trips and through outreach, we have one binding belief. We love the outdoors and we strive to share that love with you to hopefully inspire you to get outdoors.
Let's get back to the participants! I want to thank them all so bear with me! First, a huge thanks to the Shady Hollow Community Center! The community center makes a great location and as long as we don't outgrow it, we'll continue to host our Fall Expo here. Next, I'd like to thank our repeat participants. These include:
Camper Clinic II,
Texas Parks and Wildlife,
Texas Museum of Science and Technology,
and Central Texas Offroad.
Thanks for coming back and being such great hosts. Now, please allow me to thank our first time participants! These include:
Ethos Offroad Trailers,
Smokey Denmark Food Truck (yum!),
Capital City Kayak Fishing, Fly Lake Austin,
Texas County Parks,
Central Texas Ham Radio,
Austin Slack Liners Association,
Austin Society of Karate,
Ami Defesche Yoga,
Stowcart and last but not least,
I would also like to thank the folks who donated items for our drawing but were unable to attend as participants. Backwoods of Austin and Whole Earth Provisions, thank you very much for your donations. What a great group of folks. We are very happy to be associated with them all.
We couldn't have asked for better weather! From the time the gates open until the last guest left, we were blessed to have great weather. In fact, you might notice that in one of the pictures someone decided to take a little nap in a hammock. That is one of two people that were enjoying themselves so much that they decided a little snooze was in order! Folks having fun was the order of the day and we had that in spades. Everywhere you looked, you saw kids running around and families have a great time. Some of the big hits for the kids was the reptile display, the karate booth and the slackline display. That being said, every participant did a great job of being interactive and kid friendly. Happy sweaty kids were everywhere.
For those that came with an appetite we had some great options. First, the Smokey Denmark truck was serving high quality bbq that far surpasses the typical hot dogs and hamburgers one might typically see at these type of events. Smokey Denmark is known for not only great tasting food, but cutting edge food as well. Case in point was the Apple Pie Sausage they had for sale! Their food was a big hit with both the guests and the participants. About halfway through the event, we cranked up our traditional s'mores station. This is a big hit for everyone! This year, Frank got everyone going with graham crackers, hershey's chocolate and marshmallows. It was a sticky, melted mess and everyone loved it! For us, s'mores are such a big part of outdoor trips with family that we have to include them. You would think that most everyone has had one a some time in their life, but we had a couple that came down from east of the Dallas/Fort Worth area (repeat guests too!) that the wife had never had a s'more before! Let's just say that she loves them now!
In closing, we are very happy with the turnout, reception, and response for our Fall Expo this year. So many people have let us know how much fun they had; thanking us for hosting this event and asking us to continue. After we announced our first event last year, someone asked what "our angle was" or "what was in it for us". At first I was a little perturbed by the question but as time has gone by, I can appreciate the question because the answer is so simple. There is no angle. We have a love for the outdoors that started early in all of us. We were then fortunate enough to meet each other and form this great organization. No matter what we build Texas Avid Outdoors into, one of our core beliefs is that we want to share our love of the outdoors with you. We want you to get as excited about being outside and exploring as we do. We want you to get your family involved, just like we do ours. Hopefully, we can pass our appreciation for the outdoors onto the next generation. If we do, then we have truly succeeded. Stay tuned as we have some excited events coming up in 2016. Until next time, remember, Live Life Outside!