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1-16 PLAY Outdoors

PLAY Outdoors Youth Day, an annual celebration of outdoor adventures and experiences for kids, returns to the Klamath County Fairgrounds on Saturday.

Intended as a way to encourage kids to get unglued from digital devices and sedentary lifestyles to instead experience the real world around them, PLAY (Promoting Lifelong Activities for You) Outdoors Youth Day returns to the Klamath County Fairgrounds on Saturday.

Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the John Hancock Events Center, 2020 marks the 10th year of the event. Purposed as a free day of entertainment and providing educational opportunities for all-ages, PLAY Outdoors will feature over 40 different event booths from which to choose – each with their own unique activity. The event will feature various regional organizations providing games, activities, crafts, and hands-on opportunities for a variety of outdoor possibilities such as shooting sports, archery, camping, safety and survival and more.

Participating organizations in the event include Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Mule Deer Foundation, Oregon Hunters Association, the National Rifle Association, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, U.S. Forest Service, and more. Each participating group is tasked with providing a different activity intended for kids, to not only entertain but hopefully inspire future participation in local clubs or groups.

Originally founded by Ken Hand and Allen Ferreira in 2011, the event has grown in scope and scale over its decade of operation, typically drawing crowds in excess of 1,000 to participate in youth-oriented activities like flycasting, zip-lines, archery, and kinetic vehicles like those often seen in the annual Klamath Kinetic Challenge. Past popular booths have included activities like fishing, BB guns, paper-making, building birdhouses and duck boxes, elk and waterfowl calling, camping skills, custom T-shirt design, outdoor safety, survival tips, and fly-tying and casting.

Preparation for the annual event is extensive, but manageable thanks to a large contingent of volunteers with a passion for providing new opportunities to kids. No one specific organization claims ownership to the event, since its inception PLAY Outdoors has been intended as a collaborative effort to inspire the next generation.

The event is free for participants, thanks to event sponsors and donors covering annual expenses, but visitors are asked to provide non-perishable food donations for designated food barrels on-site to benefit the Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank.

For additional information contact Ken Banks at 541-891-7447.