Tuesday, August 2, 2011

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Posted By on August 2, 2011, 11:21 AM

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When the Outdoor Retailer Convention descends on downtown twice yearly, it can seem an exclusive insiders-only event. Things are different this summer though, to some degree.---

The general public can attend, all for free, a slacklining competition (with opportunity to balance on some themselves), an outdoor photography exhibit and a variety show that focuses on community and sustainability.

Outside the sometimes-stodgy environment of rapidly advancing technology and hustle-and-bustle sales, Boulder, Colo.-based Gibbon Slacklines will set up its gear in the South Plaza (West Temple and 200 South) of the Salt Palace for the general public to play on. Slacklining involves slinging webbing between two points—say, two trees—with carabiners to track tension, pulled taut by multiple people. The idea is to balance and walk between the two points, possibly doing tricks along the way. Gibbon makes a simple, two-piece kit that’s easy to set up.

If trying out a new sport isn’t enough, Gibbon will host the first annual Gibbon Games, a tournament-style competition, Aug. 4-6 at 6 p.m. Top international athletes will battle it out in a mini-stadium to win a $2,500 prize, and the crowd will be rewarded with a free happy hour, a DJ-spinning tunes and various prizes.

For photophiles, the inaugural Outdoor Photo Expo—a two-day event dedicated to the outdoor-photography market including adventure, landscape, nature, outdoor sports, travel and wildlife—will be held Aug. 4-5. The keynote speech and the expo are free and open to the public, although attendees must register. Do that here. The keynote, entitled Photo Power for Planet Earth by Frans Lanting and Art Wolfe, will be the finale, held on Friday, 6:30 - 8 p.m. An Art Fair and cocktail reception will precede it at 5 pm.

The Sustainable Living Roadshow (pictured above), in partnership with the Right2Know March, will set up outside of the Salt Palace Convention Center Aug. 3-7. Since 2005, SLR has traveled over 200,000 miles throughout the U.S., visiting festivals, conferences, colleges and community gatherings. An “old-timey carnival road show,” SLR produces fun and interactive events for people in their own backyards to inspire, inform and educate them about their local resources, programs and ways to live more sustainably.

  SLR's off-the-grid scientific and educational experiences and activities include SLR Solar Stage (experiential and educational workshops, speakers and panels), RUNBus Stage (recycled vegetable-oil-powered, it features live music, puppetry theater, poetry slams, eco-fashion shows and more) and Solutionary Showcase (hands-on exhibition of local and nationally produced products, technologies and building materials). There’s also the Conscious Carnival, Eco-Info Zone, Green Marketplace, Awakened Art Garden, Hemp Hut, Creation Station, and more; visit the show for yourself to see what these are all about.

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