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Partners of the Allegheny Adventure Network have announced plans for a new event designed to showcase the region’s vast outdoor recreation opportunities, attract visitors, and help to cultivate a culture of recreation and fitness among area residents and encourage them to engage in outdoor activities in their own area. The first Allegheny Adventure X•Fest will be held October 3-5, 2014.

The weekend will provide an opportunity for outdoors enthusiasts to gather for a weekend full of activities and camaraderie for seasoned participants and it will also include introductory events and information for those interested in trying a new activity. Activities will take place in various locations in the Alleghenies Region and will include canoeing, kayaking and rafting; mountain biking, road cycling, and rail-trail rides; trail and road running events, activities for kids, and more.

Peoples Natural Gas Park in downtown Johnstown will be the site of vendors and displays; a gear swap, and live entertainment, food, refreshments and craft beer.

The Benscreek Canoe Club is coordinating water activities that will include a downriver race on the Stonycreek River from Carpenters Park to Greenhouse Park; a flat-water race from Greenhouse Park to the Inclined Plane; a Rodeo at Greenhouse Park; scheduled paddles on sections on the Stonycreek; a beginner’s trip with special instruction; a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) event.  Guided rafting trips will be offered by Coal Tubin’.  Young Professionals of the Alleghenies is sponsoring an “Anything that Floats” race to end at the Inclined Plane.

X•Fest weekend will feature the 39th Annual Johnstown YMCA Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10K and 5K on Sunday, October 5. The marathon is a qualifier for the prestigious Boston Marathon.  Marathon organizers plan to re-route the race to end at Peoples Natural Gas Park, where participants can enjoy post-race festivities as part of the X-Fest.  The Allegheny Adventure X•Fest will also provide activities for racers and their families the entire weekend.

Other planned activities include a trail running clinic at Powell Stackhouse Park.  Representatives from show manufacturers will be on hand to discuss trail running techniques, gear, nutrition, and hydration for runners of all skill levels.  Short runs will take place throughout the Stackhouse Park trail system for demonstration and practice of techniques for water crossing, rock and root negotiation, ascents and descents, and pacing.

Holistic Activities will take placeat Peoples Natural Gas Park. Instruction will be available in various experiential sessions, including Yoga, Tai Chi, African Dance-Kulani, Middle Eastern Dance, Drumming, and Martial Arts.

Western Pennsylvania Orienteering Club, the Greater Johnstown Athletic Ski Club and Johnstown-Altoona Geocaching Association will host information booths to promote their clubs’ activities, and the geocaching association will host an “event geocache”.

One of the primary purposes of the X•Fest is to attract visitors and visitor spending to the region.  “So many organizations and individuals have been working tirelessly through the years to build trails, clean our waterways, build a whitewater park, secure water releases, and organize events to highlight our region’s outdoor assets,” Lisa Rager, Executive Director of the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said.  “The Allegheny Adventure X•Fest creates the perfect opportunity to invite all of the adventure ‘tribes’ here during one weekend to enjoy all of their favorite activities and introduce them to this destination that is gaining a reputation as a destination for outdoor adventurers.”

The Bureau is acting as the central clearinghouse for event information; coordinating communication between the partners, assisting with vendors, and the development of sponsorship packages.  The Bureau will also lead the event’s promotional efforts. In 2012,the Bureauconducted a study by the National Association of Sports Commissions to determine where opportunities exist to increase visitor spending through sports travel.  The study noted that the area’s outdoor recreation assets could produce significant new visitor spending in addition to traditional team sports.

Allegheny Adventure X•Fest is also set up to introduce area residents to these activities they can do in their own backyard.  Youngsters growing up can now learn to paddle a kayak, bicycle on mountainous trails, in addition to taking up traditional sports.  Seniors can pedal leisurely on a rail-to-trail, or paddle on a calm reservoir. Outdoor recreation can support the efforts to promote a healthier lifestyle, reduce obesity, and create a healthier community.  The X•Fest will provide the perfect chance for people to look at equipment, try an activity, ask questions of experienced enthusiasts, and learn about area clubs and organizations and the activities they offer throughout the year.

Sponsorship packages and vendor information will be available beginning May 1. To learn more, visit or call 1-800-237-8590, ext. 30.

The Allegheny Adventure Network is a group of like-minded individuals who are passionate about outdoor recreation.  AAN partners believe that Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains offer some of the finest places in the world to ride, paddle, hike, run, and explore.

Tribal Partners

Greater Johnstown Community YMCA

Benscreek Canoe Club

Laurel Highlands On and Off-Road Bicycling Association (LHORBA)

Greater Johnstown Athletic Ski Club

Mountain Laurel Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Western Pennsylvania Orienteering Club

Johnstown-Altoona Geocaching Association

Community Partners

Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Community Foundation for the Alleghenies

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Coal Tubin’

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Angie Berzonski

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