For those of us who enjoy the many splendors of an Alaska winter, and attempt to enjoy the cold and snow to no end, there’s one event that unifies us in celebration of the coming season. The Oxygen & Octane Expo, scheduled for Oct. 3-5, showcases the dizzying array of winter sports and recreation activities for everyone.
The Dena’ina Center in downtown Anchorage fills with vendors and clubs specializing in everything from snowshoeing to snowmachining, with games and entertainment, too, providing a festive atmosphere for winter enthusiasts. We can learn, shop and share in our passion for winter fun. Oxygen & Octane is the opening act to usher in another season of snow.
For 2014, expo founder John Woodbury says the show is sure to impress visitors. This is no run-of-the-mill expo.
“As always,” Woodbury says, “all this entertainment is free to the public; door prizes practically rain from the rooftops, and there is fun for folks of all ages.”
On the snowmachine front, manufacturers at the expo will roll out their 2015 models, and this season should be a banner year for sled innovations.
Indeed the exciting winter sport of snowmachining will make an impressive appearance at the Big O Show.
According to Woodbury, the show also will feature some of the best previews of the racing season, too.
“Oxygen and Octane is a great venue for Iron Dog to kick off its season, introduce our raffle and new merchandise, and get the racers and community connected to each other,” says Iron Dog executive director Kevin Kastner.
Expect a buzz around the Iron Dog booth this year as race officials outline their plans for a potential downtown Anchorage start, a bevy of Iron Dog-related activities that could include freestyle shows, concerts and family fun.
Need some winter gear that’ll hardly put a dent in that PFD money? Sixth Avenue Outfitters will have the entire east wall of the Dena’ina Center filled with smoking deals on outerwear. Other vendors specialize in hardware like skis, snowboards and protective equipment.
As for a sampling of the entertainment, expect a Big O tradition: Kelly Williams entertainment and Alaska Professional Entertainment DJs; musical acts, fashion show, local performers and much more.
And it’s all indoors, and all free, which should appeal to families.
“Being at the Dena’ina Center is really great compared to an event where you’re outdoors in a tent in the rain,” says the staff at White Spruce Trailers. “A lot of the people there are getting geared up for winter and looking for snowmachine parts and accessories. We sell a lot of accessories and some trailers, too, and it’s nice that people can take their time indoors looking around and not have to worry about the family getting frustrated.”
Combine all this with prizes, games and activities for kids, food, even a beer garden where adults can plan their winter excursion over a pint, and we’ve got ourselves a can’t-lose way to spend the day.
Visit the Dena’ina Center on Oct. 3-5 to take it all in, and pay a visit to the expo’s website for further details, www.oxygenandoctane.com. Becoming a Facebook fan to receive updates is an option as well, www.facebook.com/OxygenOctaneExpo. ◆
When: Oct 3, 4-8 p.m.; Oct 4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Oct 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Dena’ina Center, on Seventh Avenue in downtown Anchorage
What: A free, indoor expo that encompasses all forms of winter recreation and tourism. Oxygen & Octane, or “The Big O Show,” features winter gear and clothing, snowmachine and winter-worthy vehicles, resorts and lodges, presentations, live entertainment and family fun.
Cost: It’s free!
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