Rec the Alleghenies Expo returns to Greenhouse Park
BY KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent
The third annual “Rec the Alleghenies Expo” will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 11 at Greenhouse Park in Johnstown.
This free, family friendly event is designed to showcase both indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities within the area. This year, over 30 groups are participating; these groups will represent a variety of interests, including kayaking, crocheting, line-dancing and medieval fencing.
“We are so excited that the event is not only growing, but also the variation of groups is growing,” said Tasha Adams, who is helping to organize the event on behalf of You in Flood City and her employer, Alleghenies Unlimited Care Providers (AUCP). “We have groups focusing on water activities, trails, fitness classes, accessibility, self-growth, therapy and social activities.
“When we first mapped out our vision for this event, we hoped to encompass all different kinds of groups and interests that hit all ages and abilities at some level. Once we dove in, it was tough to reach those groups and explain to them what we were trying to do. Now, in our third year, it seems to be catching on quite smoothly and we’re learning about new groups and activities we’ve never even heard of before. It’s incredible and inspiring to recognize the opportunities in our own backyard that are truly available to everyone.”
The event is for all ages and abilities, and Adams said it’s held every spring in an effort to get people “interested, educated, and involved in these groups before the real active season of summer starts.”
Last year’s event brought over 200 people to Greenhouse Park.
“If you’ve never been to Greenhouse Park, that reason alone is enough to attend this event,” Adams said. “It’s a beautiful park that is open to the pubic throughout the summer and hosts many fantastic events, like the Stonycreek Rendezvous. There is a playground, volleyball court, and easy river access for swimming, kayaking and tubing.
“Since this expo exists in a big, open space, it invites the attendees to run, play, and create their own fun at Greenhouse Park. It’s so exciting to see the recreational groups really take charge of what they are offering and teaching the community. They bring their equipment and encourage folks to touch and try rather than just ask questions. It makes people feel empowered and more included amongst groups that maybe they never expected they might want to be a part of.”
Once again this year, live demonstrations are scheduled to take place every 40 minutes, and local DJ Shades of June will play music throughout the event.
Nearly a dozen market vendors will also be on-site for those who would like to purchase food, drinks and snacks, as well as take-home items such as plants and handmade soap.
Adams described “Rec the Alleghenies Expo” as a high-energy event.
“This is not your regular grab-a-brochure expo,” says Adams.
The event is being brought to fruition this year by a number of organizers and sponsors, including AUCP, You in Flood City, Earl and Jeanne Berkey Fund of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, NRG Energy, Jordan Tree Service and Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center.
For more information about this year’s “Rec the Allghenies,” visit the event’s Facebook page.
“From the music and the local food to the varying activities and the beautiful scenery, this is a day to just let loose and try new things,” Adams said. “I have found that when people hear the word ‘recreation,’ they immediately think of those hardcore activities like hiking, mountain biking and river kayaking, but, really, recreation is so much more. There are options for outdoor experiences like kayak-fishing, horseback riding, paintball, trail rides, and dog walking but, there is also huge opportunity for indoor activities like line-dancing, paintball, crochet, fly-tying and vision-boarding. Our region is one of the most beautiful, abundant and friendly areas, and we hope this event helps to prove that point by encouraging connections that are made through community and through recreation.”