Adirondack Sports Summer Expo kicks off with participants eager to beat the snow

Man gestures to map of Western New York

Peter Abele of Fairport, speaks to a group about the Erie Canal Boat Company and the distance available for people to boat on the Erie Canal at the Adirondack Outdoor Expo Saturday, March, 18, 2023 in the Saratoga City Center.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — The 17th annual Adirondack Sports Summer Expo kicked off Saturday at the Saratoga Springs City Center. The event, which is slated to run through Sunday, featured a variety of exhibitors across a multitude of outdoor activities. 

Put on by Adirondack Sports Magazine, the event aims to get Capital Region residents excited about summer activities as the snowy months come to an end. While the expo is free to attend, a food drive for the Regional Food Bank is happening at the door, with volunteers collecting donations upon entry.

This year, the expo has expanded by showcasing more travel destinations. 

“We have places from the Adirondacks to the Capitol Region to the Hudson Valley to Central New York,” expo manager Darryl Caron said. “So people, even if they’re not into sports, can learn about where to go on vacation and relax.”

On Saturday. a variety of exhibitors were recruiting participants for different charitable runs. The Schenectady Firefighter Cancer Foundation was recruiting for their upcoming “Run 4 Your Life” event, a run that fundraises for firefighters battling cancer. In addition to helping firefighters post-diagnoses, the organization works to educate firefighters of their increased risk of cancer by teaching safety maintenance like proper gear cleaning, said race director John Falotico 

Wilton resident Mike Marchese is an avid runner and came to the expo to look for new races to participate in, “and to get out of the house as well,” he said.

“I love upstate New York and I love to hike,” said Saratoga Springs resident Allison Corsi. “Also, sometimes looking at volunteer activities. That’s something I didn’t think about then when I saw it I thought ‘Oh, that may be a good idea at some point.’”

Among the exhibitors was the advocacy group Parks and Trails NY. PTNY works with grassroots organizations to protect parks and trails, as well as fundraise for new ones. They have two bike tours coming up. One from Buffalo to Albany, spanning 400 miles, and another from Albany to New York City, which spans 200 miles. Both rides are fundraisers for the group. 

A new director just joined Parks and Trails, and under the previous director funds were raised for 30 new parks across the region, bike tour coordinator Karen Empie said.

Five New York State agencies were also in attendance.

Among them was the Marine Services Bureau, which was present to promote water safety, including the proper use of life jackets. Approximately 80-90% of boat fatalities could have been prevented had the deceased been wearing a life jacket, said Oliver Robinson, a representative for the department who spearheads their education initiatives. Robinson also mentioned a new maritime law that the agency is trying to raise awareness of at the expo. 

The law, which will be mandated by the end of this year, will require all paddle crafts to carry some type of sound signal like a whistle or air horn, said Robinson. The law aims to help those operating paddle crafts alert other boats of their presence. 

Also concerned with water safety was Goldfish Swim School. The school is located in Colonie but is adding a new Clifton Park location which will open by the end of May, according to sales and service manager Grace Van Roy.

Beyond organizations, the expo also featured also a variety of vendors selling outdoor wares. Asgard Outdoor sells lightweight hiking gear, and founder and designer Biqiang Zhou was present running a “pay what you want” sale on carbon walking sticks. Normally, they go for $160, but on Saturday they were being sold for as low as $70.

The Department of Environmental Conservation was promoting various events and challenges, such as bird and tree walks. 

“Part of conservation is getting people to go outside,” said DEC Public Participation Specialist Andrea Linton. “… We want people to love the land they live on.” 

The Summer Expo will continue from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday. This fall, Adirondack Sports Magazine will put on a winter sport event at the Albany Capital Center. The Adirondack Sports and Northeast Ski Expo, set for Nov. 11-12, will be celebrating 60 years.

Categories: News, Saratoga County, Saratoga Springs


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