The SNEWS® team is continually weeding through all the press release fluffery and mounds of show announcements to bring you only the events we believe are really worth the time. To that end, mark your calendars for the following, in this, our final Summer Market preview:
Events, good causes, free food and most excellent parties
>> Roller Skating and Flock of Seagulls -- what more could you want? Well, OK, free food is also good. And you can find it all at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Industry Party on Thursday, Aug. 10, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at The Depot. Sponsored by Outside Magazine, Hummer, Gerber, Garmin and the Salt Lake City Visitors Bureau.
>> Get funky and get wild with Nordic Walking at AM OR all four mornings prior to the show with Leki, Exel, Brooks and Ecco. Meet at the South Plaza of the Salt Palace.
>> We all need a bit of quiet time, and you'll find yours in the soul-centering Prana Rejuvenation Room which is open during show hours in meeting room 150F.
>> Good wine in Salt Lake City? Indeed! If you'd like to sip some fine vintage from Redwood Creek Winery, albeit during show hours, then head to the Redwood Creek Hospitality Lodge, which is open from 1-5 p.m. daily in the South Plaza of the Salt Palace.
>> Get green and learn how two paddlers are promoting reusable energy and fuel-efficiency by combining one custom-designed truck, thousands of road miles, cooking oil, and some bodacious paddling and educational opportunities along the way. It's the Oil & Water Party on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 6-8 p.m. in the South Plaza. Sponsored by Keen, Kavu, Clif Bar, Therm-a-rest, MSR and Oil & Water.
>> Mmmmmmm….relax me! Fox River will once again offer free foot massages and socks to media and retailers (sorry exhibitors) at its booth #18001. Foot massages are available on Thursday, Aug. 10, from 1-4 p.m. and then on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 11-12, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
>> Few can throw a party like JanSport and this summer is no exception. Two men, one word: Blackalicious. As JanSport's band for Shake N'Bake, Blackalicious fuses jazz, funk and hip-hop together for an intense performance and experience. Blackalicious burst onto the underground scene in the mid-90s, touring with The Roots, Jay-Z and 50 Cent. Now possessing five critically acclaimed albums, Blackalicious has garnered an international cult following. You'll need an invite -- get it at the JanSport booth. Party begins at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 10 in the Port O'Call Social Club.
>> Everyone needs a new watch, and for a $20 donation to support the efforts of Big City Mountaineers, you can pick up a new Highgear Enduro trail running watch. Ain't that cool? To make a donation and get your watch, stop by 4-6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 10-11, at the Highgear booth #33163.
>> We've seen the new Orikaso cups for coffee at OutDoor Friedrichshafen. Now, you can pick one up yourself without having to go to Germany, each filled with the dark elixir (that's coffee, not rum, you sick people) at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12, only at the Axis Outdoor booth #59014. We know, finding the booth before you have coffee might be difficult, but trust us on this one -- the new Orikaso folding cups are cool.
>> Gregory is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a party/fund-raiser to support Outdoor Outreach, a San Diego-based non-profit organization that helps at-risk youth by building self-esteem through outdoor activities. And yes, if you're one of the first 300 in line (Gregory is thinking big here), you get a commemorative glass filled with beer for your time. The fun and frivolity will take place on Saturday, Aug. 12, starting at 4 p.m. at the Gregory booth #23027. But wait, it gets better. Prior to and during the event, Gregory representatives will be distributing 300 numbered tickets. Each ticket (and yes, you have to make a donation to get a ticket) will entitle you to a limited edition Gregory Brodie messenger-style bag. Ticket holders automatically will be entered in a raffle that will take place at the end of the party for one of Gregory's Escape Series backpacks, either a men's Triconi or women's-specific Deva.
>> Help celebrate the Access Fund's 15th anniversary, learn about the non-profit group's efforts to educate climbers on the importance of minimum-impact climbing techniques, and squeeze in some socializing at a fund-raiser hosted by Scarpa North America and Urban Climber Magazine. The beer will start flowing at the Scarpa booth #8039 on Friday, Aug. 11, at 4 p.m. While you are there, you can become an Access Fund member at a reduced rate -- very worthwhile. In addition, there will be a raffle fund-raiser featuring Access Fund memberships, gear from Scarpa, as well as gear from numerous other industry supporters. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Access Fund's work.
>> Join Teko at its booth #54046 to celebrate and promote Tasmanian Wool, Teko, Leave No Trace and Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) on Friday, Aug. 11, at 4 p.m. Teko will be collecting donations for Leave No Trace. For the first 100 donations of at least $20, the company will be giving away 16-micron merino wool T-shirts! And it gets better. For that $20 donation, not only do you get a great shirt, but also a chance to win a free trip to Tasmania for two! Those without a shirt can visit www.tekosocks.com/taswool to learn how to win other prizes. All winners will be announced Oct. 1, 2006.
>> For those needing a caffeine pick-me-up or a beer calm-me-down, every day of the show there will be free-flowing gourmet coffee and beer at GoLite's main booth #27001. GoLite is also throwing what looks to be two happening parties on Days 1 and 2. On Thursday, Aug. 10, GoLite is hosting a Brazilian-style "Carnival!" at the main GoLite booth from 4-6 p.m. to celebrate the 2007 product line-up complete with Caipirinhas, Brazilian delicacies, gear giveaways and a live samba band. On Friday, Aug. 11, GoLite and Traptek will host the Coco Loco Luau to celebrate the launch of the company's base-layer program made with recycled coconuts. The party will be from 4-6 p.m. at the main GoLite booth and will feature a live Hawaiian band, plus a variety of coconut-themed cocktails and munchies. Cocona performance T-shirts will be given out to the first 100 partygoers and there will be prizes for best Hawaiian outfits. We're just hoping we don't have to see Coup dancing in a grass skirt!