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Get Outside Weekend Update -- 12/18-21

Festivals, Events, & Outings

Thursday, December 18

Friday, December 19

Saturday, December 20

Sunday, December 21

Monday, December 22

Tuesday, December 23

Wednesday, December 24

Thursday, December 25

  • Merry Christmas!
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Pete's Pick: Happy Holidays!

First of all I would like to thank everyone for their support of the Roanoke Region outdoors and Roanoke Outside this year. It’s been a good year and we can’t wait to see what 2015 brings.

And on that note, this is the last newsletter of the year … but look for the Get Outside Weekend Update in your inboxes shortly after the New Year.

As the holiday approaches, finish your last minute shopping locally. It just feels to better to shop local. Plus, we have a ton of great idea suggestions in the annual Outdoor Lovers Gift Guide.

Finally, as the end of the year approaches, consider a tax-deductible donation to a local nonprofit that supports our outdoor culture. I’m sure I’ve missed some but here is a list to get you started:

Happy Holidays . . . see you next year!

Pete Eshelman (friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter)
Director of Outdoor Branding
Roanoke Regional Partnership

Check out the Outdoor Calendar for upcoming events
you need to keep your eye on!

 

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Stay Active Over the Holidays

If there is one thing the holiday season is full of - besides JOY and LOVE of course - it's temptation. 

Temptation is all around us all the time, but come the end of the year, its grip can become somewhat suffocating. The cabin fever, the stress of family, and the days off naturally lead us to utilize our most basic of coping mechanisms: eating. The lure of one more cookie, one more mug of eggnog, one more slice of roast is also hard to resist when that self-correcting New Year's Resolution is right around the corner. 

While it is perfectly acceptable to indulge, staying active during the holidays goes a long way toward staying active in the New Year. Just heading out for a nice walk following another big meal is a great step in the right direction. 

If you need a little more motivation to put down your fourth piece of peppermint bark and get moving, here are a few events to help:

Christmas Eve Fun Run & Walk

The 5th Annual Christmas Eve Fun Run & Walk and Kids Fun Run takes off from Thomas Vic Park at noon on Christmas Eve, December 24. This is a free, untimed, family-friendly event that will include some giveaways, refreshments, and cookies at the finish line. This event has been described as more flash-mob than serious race, so bring the kids and enjoy the camaraderie. 

First Ride O' the Year

Kick off 2015 on the right foot with the 25th Annual First Ride O' the Year at Carvins Cove. This largely self-guided ride always starts from the Marina parking area at noon. The Roanoke Chapter of IMBA will be there to provide some donuts and hot cocoa, so there will certainly be a festive atmosphere. This is a great opportunity to not only get out on the trail, it is also a great opportunity to meet up with some new riders.

Resolution Run 5K

Also on New Year's Day is the Resolution Run 5K to benefit Bethany Hall, a residential treatment home for women, women w/children, and pregnant women conquering the disease of addiction. This race starts from Wiley Park at 10 a.m. and runs along the Roanoke River Greenway. Kids and dogs are welcome to join and you can register on race day beginning at 8:30 a.m. 

Get out there and stay active during the holiday season!

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Get Outside Weekend Update -- 12/11-14

Festivals, Events, & Outings

Thursday, December 11

Friday, December 12

Saturday, December 13

Sunday, December 14

Monday, December 15

Tuesday, December 16

Wednesday, December 17

Thursday, December 18

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Pete's Pick: Holiday Climbing Camp

We are all aware that the holiday season can bring about a stunning amount of emotions. There is the joy, the reason for the season, the happiness of gift giving and receiving, and the sometimes emotional reaction to all the delicious edible treats. 

But there is also the stress of hosting parties and families, getting the right gift, and having a house full of people.

Plus, the kids are out of school, but shooing them outside can be difficult with cold or wintery weather, adding another layer of chaos to an already chaotic time. 

So, how do you maintain your sanity while your kids are bouncing off the walls at home? Send them to bounce off the walls somewhere else of course!

The River Rock Climbing Gym is hosting Holiday Camp days this winter to keep your kids active and out of your hair. The Winter Camp days are Dec. 22-23 and Dec. 29-30 and run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each day's program consists of games, slack-lining, knot tying, stretching, and of course, roped climbing. 

The program is open to kids ages 7-12, and is split into two age groups. 

This is a great opportunity to introduce your child to climbing in a safe, fun environment if they have not been exposed to the sport. It's also a great way to stay sane during the holidays. 

River Rick will also be holding camp dates on M.L. King, Jr. (Jan. 19), and over Spring Break (Apr. 6-10). 

Find out more and register >>>

Happy holidays!

Pete Eshelman (friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter)
Director of Outdoor Branding
Roanoke Regional Partnership

Check out the Outdoor Calendar for upcoming events
you need to keep your eye on!

 

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Keeping a Clean Roanoke River

Roanoke Outside was created by the Roanoke Regional Partnership to organize, advocate, and promote the region's natural assets as part of a larger economic development strategy focused on the high quality of life in Roanoke. 

One of the most important and prominent natural asset in the region is the Roanoke River that snakes through downtown and the surrounding area. The river traces the path of the greenway system (or vise versa), and provides the rare opportunity for urban fishing and paddling. That is why keeping it clean is vital to the region; if the Roanoke River is not clean enough for these activities, it ceases to be an asset and actually turns into a huge negative for the community. 

Earlier this week, the Roanoke Times posted an article by Dr. Rupert Cutler on the importance of a clean Roanoke River to economic development. Dr. Cutler frames his piece around the new stormwater management program aimed at keeping pollution out of the river through "green infrastructure." 

Dr. Cutler hopes the environmental protection program will become a model for the rest of the state, and possibly the rest of the country. 

Read "A Clean River is Key to Economic Development" by Dr. Cutler >>>

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Become a Winter Warrior With Fleet Feet

Winter can lead to many things: getting cozy by the fire, hot cocoa, holiday cookies, and testing out new croc-pot recipes immediately spring to mind. What doesn't immediately spring to mind is exercise. 

With cold, dark mornings and the sun setting before you can leave the office, it can be hard to keep up with an exercise routine, especially if your preferred method of physical activity revolves around running outdoors, as many do. Abandoning your workout is as easy as grabbing another eggnog. 

Fleet Feet wants to help you get out of the winter rut and back out on the pavement with their Winter Warrior Challenge program that begins this week. The 10-week session for runners or walkers meets Saturday mornings for group runs and walks between Dec. 8 and Feb. 14. 

Participants earn points for each Saturday group event, plus bonus points for attending the Fleet Feet Sports Pub Runs. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the program based on the point system, and those with the most points will be crowned the King and Queen of the Winter. 

So, don't let Old Man Winter get the best of you this season. Get out and move with the Fleet Feet Winter Warrior Challenge.

Find out more details and how to register >>>

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Get Outside Weekend Update -- 12/4-7

Festivals, Events, & Outings

Thursday, December 4

Friday, December 5

Saturday, December 6

Sunday, December 7

Monday, December 8

Tuesday, December 9

Wednesday, December 10

Thursday, December 11

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Pete's Pick: Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Hunting in RoanokeOne of my favorite childhood memories was the day we’d load into the station wagon and go on the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. It would take what seemed like hours for my mom and dad to agree on the perfect tree, and then what seemed like another hour for my sister and me to actually cut it down and drag it back to the car. And once back home we’d build a fire and then spend the evening decorating the tree and baking cookies.

Last weekend my family and I headed out on our annual quest for the perfect Christmas tree, and as we passed numerous cars with trees already on their roofs a huge smile spread across my face. I just love the tradition of choosing and cutting your own Christmas tree.

So, if you haven't picked out your tree yet, find a local tree farm that lets you pick and cut your own tree. Nothing beats walking around the farm (and it will be a beautiful farm), looking for the best tree, cutting it down yourself, and then dragging it back to your car.  All farms will have hand saws you can use, and will even help carry it back to your car if need be. Word of advice: trees look smaller in an open field, so err on the slightly smaller size.

I'm often asked which is better for the environment, artificial or real trees. Of course it's debatable, but most experts believe artificial trees actually have a greater negative environmental impact when all aspects of their life cycle are considered. Today’s artificial trees are typically manufactured with metal and PVC, a non-biodegradable, petroleum-derived plastic. They are also non-recyclable and non-biodegradable, meaning they will sit in a landfill for centuries after disposal. On top of that, 85 percent of artificial trees sold in the U.S. are imported from overseas and the associated transportation adds to their overall environmental footprint.

Approximately 33 million real trees are sold in the U.S. each year. Of those sold, 93 percent are recycled through recycling programs. Also known as “treecycling,” the act of recycling a tree is a leading reason many experts agree they are more environmentally friendly than their plastic counterparts. Christmas trees are recycled into mulch and used in landscaping and gardening or chipped and used for playground material, hiking trails, paths and walkways. They can be used for beachfront erosion prevention, lake and river shoreline stabilization and fish and wildlife habitat.  The most common practice around the Roanoke Region is for the trees to be recycled into mulch.

Happy tree hunting!

Pete Eshelman (friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter)
Director of Outdoor Branding
Roanoke Regional Partnership

Check out the Outdoor Calendar for upcoming events
you need to keep your eye on!

 

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Not Just a Pretty Face: Women Shred

Ski season is upon us so it's time to wax those boards and get stoked to shred. The Grandin Theatre will be hosting an unofficial ski season kickoff with a showing of Pretty Faces: The Story of a Skier Girl on Tuesday, December 9 at 7:00 pm.

Pretty Faces is a project from pro big mountain powder skier and activist Lynsey Dyer. If you have never heard of Dyer, let me assure you she is an incredible skier. Not an incredible woman skier; an incredible skier. She gathered up some of her skier friends and made the first all-female ski film to celebrate what women can accomplish in the sport and to inspire more to get involved. 

Like a lot of bro-centric, male dominated action sports, the role of talented women can sometimes be pushed to the margins. While this is changing all the time, Pretty Faces aims to break down the boundaries of what's possible through the female perspective. 

Check out the trailer below and get tickets for the show.

Pretty Faces - The Story of a Skier Girl - Trailer from Unicorn Picnic Productions on Vimeo.

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