In the News


Horizon Air - Recreational fun

By Laurie Meckling

April, 2011

Scanned Version:

Online Version: (page 7)

Learn how to play hacky sack, maintain your bike, pack a hiking day pack and do Zumba dancing, at the Boise Rec Fest, June 25-26 at the city's Ann Morrison Park. More than 30 free workshops will be presented, including participatory-activities workshops for Pilates, yoga, disc golf, wilderness first aid and camp cooking.

Educational lectures will cover topics such as boat safety; mountain biking; climbing; river rafting; backcountry skiing; marathon, trail and backcountry running; and exploring the Idaho-Oregon Snake River Water Trail.

In addition, leave-no-trace recreation principles will be explained; the Idaho Tennis Association will teach the basic concepts and strokes of the game; the Southern Idaho Soccer League will gauge attendees' kick speeds; and Upward Sports will conduct basketball clinics for elementary- school-age children.

Attendees of all ages can tackle a climbing wall, and children can experience an ATV simulator, while Boise Parks & Recreation will have items such as balls, jump ropes and painting supplies for children's fitness, art, drama and dance activities.

Live music will be provided on a main stage and a youth stage, and Idaho wines and artisan foods will be among the items for purchase at some of the 100-plus exhibitor booths.

Last year nearly 15,000 people attended the festival. Contact: 208-639-0281;


Boise Weekly - Best Reason to Get Rec-ed

Editor's Picks, Best of Boise Issue


It should come as absolutely no surprise that Boise is an outdoor recreation-centric kind of place. What is surprising is that no one thought of an event like Rec Fest sooner. The inaugural celebration of all things recreation was just what this town needed--especially as an excuse for a community festival at the end of June. We can't wait to see what comes next year ... maybe mechanical bull riding. Hey, it's a sport.


Boise Weekly - Rec Fest 2011 in the works

By Rachael Daigle


Now that Boise Rec Fest founder Brett Adler has had a few weeks to chill out after the first rec-obsessed riverside party he threw a few weekends back in Ann Morrison Park, BW caught up with him to ask if Boise can expect to see an encore next summer. Adler said in fact he has already begun work on the planning for Boise Rec Fest 2011.

"We learned a lot from the first year and plan to make improvements for next year, including tightening up the layout so things aren't so spread out, moving the food court so it's more accessible to the exhibit area, and improving our training for security volunteers," said Adler. "And we hope that more organizations will be able to join us for next year's festival."

Boise Weekly spent two days at Rec Fest handing out thousands--literally--of red BW Frisbees. We also dished out a decent number of red BW stickers to people who wanted to ... ahem, modify ... the Frisbees they'd picked up at other booths.

If you didn't get one of our snazzy tomato red dog- and kid-friendly Frisbees, you'll have another chance at See Spot Walk on Saturday, Oct. 23.


Wend Magazine - Editor's Letter

By Kyle Cassidy - Editorial Director, Wend Magazine

Summer 2010

“In a city where playing outdoors is such an essential part of the culture, events like the Rec Fest serve as a rite of passage - a place for the uninitiated to learn how to take that first step outside.”

Read the full article here:



KTVB News Channel 7 - Boise Rec Fest prompts people to get outdoors

by Will von Tagen



KTVB News Channel 7 - Looking to get active? Boise Rec Fest to the rescue

by Scott Evans



Fox 12 – Boise Rec Fest



Boise, Idaho -- With all of the booths in Ann Morrison Park this weekend, you might think it looks a little bit like the late Boise River Festival, but this festival is all about Boise recreation.

Bikes, boards, surf boards, and rafts celebrating active Idaho.

"There's really nothing more at the heart and soul of Boise and all of Idaho is about than recreation," said Brett Adler, Boise Rec Fest creator.

The Boise Rec Fest was Brett Adler's brainchild.

"When the River Festival ended, I felt a need to fill that void," Adler said.

Getting an event this big, up and running, is like starting a new business.

"The beginning was difficult because you have to sell people on an idea, instead of an actual event. We have nothing to go off of," said Adler.

What he went off of was what Idahoans are passionate about.

"All forms of recreation, the intention is indoors and out, motorized and human powered, and all seasons," Adler said.

Even early on in the event, people were on board with the excitement, like finding your hidden sporting talent.

"It's been way better than I ever could've imagined," said Jo Cassin, co-owner of Idaho River Sports.

"It kinda reminded me of the River Festival, so I would like to see it more, every year," said one Boise Rec Fest patron.

There were plenty of opportunities for lessons in fly fishing, tennis, lacrosse and more.

"It's not a passive event, there obviously are parts where you sit back and enjoy, but we also want people to come and actually play," said Adler.

"I'm on the tail end of a 50 mile ride today, and I wanted to see what was going on," said another Boise Rec Fest patron.

In the spirit of Boise Rec Fest, come as you are.

"Being a recreation festival, we think it's fitting for people to run, bike, walk, whatever suits them," Adler said.

"Just do it. Don't make excuses, just do it," said one biker.

If you missed your chance to come out and hang out Saturday, there's still Sunday. The Boise Rec Fest is located in Ann Morrison Park. They have over 80 exhibits and 32 workshops going on.  Hours on Sunday are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  For more information, check out their website:


KBOI 2 - Boise Rec Fest brings people and business together

By Jennifer McGraw


BOISE - A two day fest comes to Boise with high hopes to showcase local businesses in turn boosting Idaho's economy.

Local business entrepreneur Ian Shewring found a way to help stimulate the local economy by only using local businesses to produce a new luxury for Idaho campers.

"We want to keep the economy local as well and keep the money here in the Treasure Valley. You know we have a lot of great business people with a lot of skill out there and there is no need to go anywhere else," says Shewring, owner and designer of Ruggid Gear.

For the first time, they were able to debut their product to thousands of Idahoans, all thanks to the Boise Rec Fest.

"This provides them one place where they can come and get exposure to a large audience in a way they couldn't get otherwise," says Brett Adler, event founder and organizer.

Brett Adler says, they'll barely break even at this year's event, but he says they're not here to make money, the mission is to connect people with businesses to help keep it local.

"There is a very big emphasis on local. Although we make no claims to be exclusively local, although we're not trying to send people to other states or promote other areas, we're really about Idaho," says Adler.

The two day fest hopes to allow businesses like Ruggid Gear to hit the ground running to in turn help out other local businesses.

"I think we fit exactly what this whole Rec Fest is about. Promoting the outdoors and there are a lot of people from the valley who don't really know what opportunities exist out there and this has just been a real eyeopener for people," says Shewring.

Ruggid Gear is looking for local manufacturers and those specializing in metal.

To get involved with next years event:

To contact Ruggid Gear:



Idaho Statesman - Have an interactive time with the kids at Boise Rec Fest

By Roger Phillips


Don't just go to the Boise Rec Fest, go do it.

Take the kids and "come dressed to play," as founder and festival director Brett Adler said.

The inaugural festival runs June 26 and 27 at Ann Morrison Park in Boise. It's a celebration of recreation that's intended to do more than show what's available in Idaho.

"Our main goal after this event is to get more people recreating," Adler said.

He started the event to replace the former Boise River Festal - but rather than focusing on music, he wanted to show the diverse recreation opportunities Idaho has to offer and allow people to discover organizations that focus on different aspects of recreation.

The event will feature over 80 exhibitors and 30 workshops that all pertain to different aspects of recreation, from outdoors activities to individual and team sports to music and arts.

That means lots of stuff to keep youth busy and active throughout the weekend and beyond.

Some activities will be continuous throughout the weekend, and others will be one-time events during the weekend.

You can see the full schedule of activities at under "Festival Information."

Parents will want to look at the schedule and plan their day accordingly so the family can hit all the different events.

Wings Center will host a bunch of youth-oriented activities including a giant Twister board that accommodates 100 or so, jumbo croquet, dodgeball, foursquare, kickball, double dutch and more.

Tennis and golf organizations will let kids practice their game and learn more about organized lessons and events.

There's also skateboarding, basketball, soccer, disc golf, horseshoes and more.

Kids also can take part in the bicycle rodeo sponsored by the YMCA and several other groups.

The rodeo is for kids ages 5-11 and will feature five different stations.

Adler said parents should plan on attending each event with their kids.

"It's not babysitting," he said. "It's more interactive with your kids."

Kids can also be entertained by other kids at the Underaid/Boise Rock School Youth Stage.

The stage will feature youth performers including musicians, cheerleaders, gymnasts, dancers, martial arts demonstrations, speakers and more.

When the kids have gotten their fill of hands-on activities, there's lots to food and drinks available at the Recfest, including beer and wine gardens for the parents.


Idaho Business Review - Rec Fest exhibitors help recreationists stay on top of trends

by Brad Carlson


From exhibitors, Boise Rec Fest attendees can see what’s new in a recreational hobby of choice.

Fest-goers also might find out that a hobby exists in the first place.

Jeff Wahlers for more than a dozen years worked in the paddle-board business in Carlsbad, Calif. Sudden closure of a major foam supplier prompted him to move to Idaho about two years ago.

He launched Soulcraft Boarding, a Meridian company that designs, crafts and markets standup paddle boards and wake surfboards. Some come with artwork or can have custom art. Chelsi L. Kunau Benger is the artist. At Boise Rec Fest, Soulcraft will share a booth with its retailer, Water Ski Pro Shop.

Wahlers said demand is increasing for wake surfboards, which come in aerial-oriented surf styles and the smaller skim style for surface tricks. Riders drop the tow rope.

Standup paddle boarding dates back to the ancient Hawaiians and is well established on California’s south coast, but “now it has started to get popular inland, especially on lakes,” he said. “You can just go out and paddle.” Some people are using them in whitewater, though he does not recommend this to the average person.

Paddle boarding is “another way to get another board, and keep everyone in the water having fun,” Wahlers said. He now makes one paddle board at 10 feet and 2 inches, and another at 10 feet and 6 inches, though the boards can go to 12 feet.

“The hardest part is moving them around, getting them from the car to the water,” he said. But these challenges usually are worth it because paddle boarding is fun and is a core-strengthening workout, he said.

Core Concepts, Boise, designs and markets performance outdoor clothing. Company President Noah Bryan said that for attendees, Boise Rec Fest - where Core Concepts will share a booth with Idaho River Sports, one of its retailers - provides an opportunity for “discovering and enjoying all the resources we have relative to having a great time in the outdoors.” For Core Concepts, the festival is an opportunity for face-to-face interaction with end users.

Core Concepts plans to highlight a collection of organic bamboo cotton-blend T-shirts and preview some of its new products for fall and winter. A new shirt for men will offer water and wind resistance as well as moisture-wicking capability, in a style suitable for casual wear, Bryan said. A new jacket for women features a special fabric, developed in cooperation with a supplier, which combines performance characteristics with a visually appealing textured style. Both will be in the fall-winter line.

Hikers and campers for years have tried to avoid consuming untreated water, and more recently have had success with filtration systems. Recently, there is more awareness about water quality and the benefits of keeping water bottles out of landfills, and there are better products for more types of water consumers, said Laura DeLamere, partner in Eagle-based Urban Pipeline.

Urban Pipeline markets a military-grade filter that filters everything but saltwater, she said. The filters are placed into steel or plastic bottles. The steel bottles are popular in vehicles and refrigerators, whereas the plastic bottles - designed not to leach harmful chemicals - are popular among athletes and campers, she said. Another product, a filter straw, is placed in any freshwater source after the straw’s protective top is removed. The filter straws have become popular among outfitters, backpackers and international travelers - they’re compact and can get through airport security, she said.

The idea with all of the products is to provide filtered water that goes directly from the water source to the drinking container, instead of through an outside system first. DeLamere said more people are using (filter-less) steel bottles instead of disposable plastic bottles, but many still want to drink something other than tap water. Recent disasters and flood events have raised awareness about water quality, she added.

Urban Pipeline’s goal is to provide a line of water-filtration products that is more compact, and requires fewer steps to use, than long-established filtration systems used at home or in the field, she said. The products are becoming more popular among big-game hunters, some of whom previously used larger filtration systems that were more practical in camp than in the field, she said.


Idaho Business Review - Good community members get involved

by Robb Hicken


When someone asked the other day about why they should participate in the upcoming “Rec Fest” I was a bit stunned and a bit in awe.

It had never occurred to me that there was any other train of thought than where I stood: “Community commitment makes a capable community.”

I have been active in many different communities in the 30 years of my being in the newspaper and communications business. My job required that I become acquainted with local civic organizations, state and local governments, city and town councils, and most of all, the residents.
Each community has its own call to action, its own drive to serve, and its own passion for the common good. While it varies widely from region to region, town to town, it always surfaces.

When a natural disaster strikes, a community throws aside race, color, creed and religion as individuals step up to help one another. When a man-made disaster disrupts a section of town, residents step forward with immediacy and nary a care for their own personal needs.
For that brief window, we are all one body, with one effort.

The other arena that brings most residents together are the civic activities, like the Rec Fest in Boise, Dairy Days in Meridian, or the Breakfast on the Bank in Idaho Falls.

These activities not only strengthen a community’s ties, but also give an outlet to residents to see other community members in a different setting or light. It should never be assumed fun should not be had.

The Downtown Boise Association’s efforts to liven the summer months with the “Alive After Five” programs are a great example of civic pride and involvement. Its sole purpose is to lift the spirits of the residents and unite them in a common cause.

While chamber of commerce promotes business activities, speakers bureaus, luncheons awards and such, the economic development partners are there to lobby for government and communities’ business opportunities.

Talking with Grow Idaho Falls CEO Linda Martin this past week she said civic activities play a vital role in attracting new businesses to the area and business plays a vital role in civic activities.

But, chambers open the door and provide that additional voice to businesses to show off their products, opportunities and services.

“Civic activities are just a part of life that you have in a community,” she said.

In Idaho Falls, the economic development groups are pushing an event center that would provide more opportunities for civic participation, opening a venue to allow more community involvement and activities.

“I think that sometimes businesses need an additional voice to help them in the community to let know who they are, and gives them a chance to provide leadership, volunteerism,” she said. “Then you have the civic clubs as well.”

The chamber, convention and visitors bureau in Idaho Falls, along with Grow Idaho Falls, is working toward a convention center.

“We feel that if we have a larger venue, we could encourage more activities for civic, business and government groups,” she said.

The number of organizations that are out there promoting a community will have an effect on whether a business selects a community.

If a community doesn’t show it’s alive, businesses will not want to be part of the community.

So, why should I be involved in “Rec Fest?” The answer is obvious: Become part of your community.

Robb Hicken is managing editor of the Idaho Business Review and will be at the “Explore Idaho” booth Saturday night and Sunday afternoon as part of Rec Fest ‘10 June 26-27.


Idaho Business Review - Boise Rec Fest founder says launching a festival similar to starting a business

by Gaye Bunderson


“We’re not trying to be the Boise River Festival,” said Brett Adler, director of the inaugural Boise Rec Fest set for June 26-27 in Ann Morrison Park.

Adler has nothing against the River Festival. In fact, when he visited the Treasure Valley nine years ago from his native New Jersey, the River Festival was one of the first things he experienced here.

It’s just that the Boise Rec Fest is a different animal.

The event was conceived a few years back by Adler, who called it “a ‘duh’ idea, an obvious idea” to create a festival that focused on Idaho’s many recreational opportunities.

The Rec Fest idea occurred to Adler while managing event finances for the Sawtooth Music Festival in Stanley.

“I’ve had ideas all my life,” he said. “I finally got to the point where I said to myself, ‘Enough talking about it, just do it.’ … Part of what gave me the confidence is that there were so few people who heard about (the Rec Fest idea) that didn’t get it.”

Adler, 37, spent most of his career in the software business and said some of his past work experience has helped him in organizing the Rec Fest. He believes starting a large event is a lot like an entrepreneurial endeavor.

“This is just like starting a business, where you have this concept,” he said. He then talked about “the chicken-and-egg thing.”

The idea comes first, he said, but to take it to the next level requires financing. In the case of a recreational festival, participants need to be lined up. In order to get participants lined up, there need to be financial backers; to get financial backers requires having participants on board - in other words, the chicken-and-egg thing.

His effort to fully realize the Boise Rec Fest started last March. Adler said he originally tried to go it alone. “I had worked on it, but the best thing was to get a team behind it,” he said. He participates in a number of organizations, such as Boise Young Professionals, and is on the board of directors of Idaho Smart Growth, among other entities.

“I tend to get very involved,” he said. He was able to pull together a leadership team from his network of acquaintances, as well as a few people outside his general circle.

He and his team enlisted the help of Boise business consultant Troy McClain, who gave them guidance on how to proceed in getting the Rec Fest up and running, with funding, and participation from vendors and exhibitors.

Adler said McClain advised him: “People like to see things.” In other words, don’t just approach people with a concept. Have documentation, something akin to a business plan.

The Rec Fest was starting to come together but, Adler stated, there was still a certain amount of operating on intangibles. “We had to get people going on faith and trust in us,” he said.

Finally, financial support - and encouragement - started coming in from backers. Among the first people to come on board was Jennifer Wernex, communication manager with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

“At Idaho Parks & Recreation, we represent a broad spectrum of recreation in Idaho, and we felt that this is the type of event that is really going to showcase the many different types of ways to experience Idaho, and the many forms of recreation available to us in the state,” Wernex said. “Getting people outdoors in new ways, or just getting people outdoors in general, is something we want to be a part of.”

The type of exhibit Idaho Parks & Recreation will host at the Rec Fest is representative in many ways of what participants can expect to see at the event. The agency will have a booth highlighting ATV and motorbike safety training, snowmobile safety and avalanche awareness, and boating safety.

Adler said the majority of the event will be exhibits.

He explained some of the exhibits will be interactive, but the primary focus is on educating the public about recreational opportunities - all while listening to live music and eating and drinking at the family-friendly festival.

Some of the participatory activities include disc golf, basketball, a skate park, and tennis.

Unlike the Boise River Festival, which was spread out across a number of venues throughout the city, the Rec Fest is largely centered in one location at Ann Morrison Park.

“The more centralized, the better,” Adler said. “It’s easier for participants.”

He also stressed: “We’re a festival, not a market,” meaning emphasis is being placed on celebrating Idaho’s recreational diversity rather than on selling products.

In all, there will be around 70 exhibitors.

“You can’t be 100 percent local, but we want the emphasis to be local,” Adler said.

He also explained the name for the festival was chosen for its location, not because it’s Boise-centric. “The emphasis is on being about Idaho,” he said.

Adler has formed his own nonprofit, called Idaho Rec Connection Inc. With this entity, he and his team plan to expand on the Idaho recreational theme. He said Idaho Rec Connection is like a new business, something he wants to build into a full organization. It’s not an event company, he stressed. Its purpose is to link people up with all the sporting opportunities the state offers.

Essentially, the June 26-27 event is just the beginning for Adler and Idaho Rec Connection.

“The Rec Fest is our ‘anchor tenant,’” he said. “We need to lock this down before we look at other things.”


Idaho Business Review – Michelle Ross working to round up Rec Fest volunteers

by Gaye Bunderson


Many volunteers are required to help the two-day Boise Rec Fest, set for June 26-27, run smoothly. Event founder and director Brett Adler recruited Boise Young Professionals acquaintance Michelle Ross to be director of volunteers as part of the Rec Fest’s leadership team.

“It’s a challenge,” Ross said. “I think we weren’t anticipating needing as many volunteers. We’re looking at right around a thousand - that’s not the number of people; that’s the number of shifts and roles, that sort of thing.”

Asked how she’s pulling together a group that large, she stated, “You pull the friend cards and co-worker cards. BYP will participate, and different organizations. I’ve gotten the word out on Facebook and other social media, and many people have jumped on board with the Boise Rec Fest movement. Lots of individuals are signing up.”

She called it “a grassroots effort,” and explained something particularly important to the Rec Fest leadership team is to leave the least amount of “footprint” on Ann Morrison Park, where the event will be held.

Boise Rec Fest is green, she stressed.

So along with helping with sign-in and parking prior to and during the Fest, volunteers will help in cleanup and recycling efforts afterwards.

“I can say for sure there’s no way this event would be happening without the team of volunteers,” Adler said. “This is a community effort. Not any one individual can make this come together.”


KBOI 2 – ETV Interview

By Brad Rowen




Boise Weekly - Recland

by Mika Belle


Click HERE for a PDF of the cover and HERE for a PDF of the article.

Big summer festivals are back this June with the inaugural Boise Rec Fest--a replacement and expected evolution of the summer event once known as the River Festival.

Boise Rec Fest is gearing up for two days celebrating the diverse recreational activities enjoyed in Idaho. Skiers, hikers, bikers and more can meet with recreation industry reps, experts and hobbyists while enjoying Idaho foods, bands and wines.

The new festival owes much to the long struggle and commitment of young entrepreneur Brett Adler. The New Jersey native has more than a dozen years of experience in event planning, fundraising and volunteer recruitment. He conceived the idea for Boise Rec Fest in 2003.

"Ever since the River Festival went away, I wanted something to replace it," he said.

Adler said he wanted to create a similar festival experience during the Boise summer, but it took him until 2009 to actually start taking action. Along the way, he had to take a big leap of faith.

"March [2009] was the moment I took my idea and decided it was time to actually start following through with it," he said. "I quit my job last June."

Adler envisioned the festival with a recreational theme, an inspiration he had on a road trip nine years ago. He was living in Boston and stopped in Boise for a week. During that time, he floated the Payette River, hiked the Boise Foothills and walked the Greenbelt while also enjoying the city pleasures of fine dining and a rich nightlife. He moved to Boise within a year and quickly started indulging in its many recreational outlets.

"I'm a big fan of many sports," he said. "My favorites are rafting, hiking, camping, skiing and snowshoeing."

Adler later got involved with the Sawtooth Music Festival and eventually started helping manage the event's budget. He became more involved in the leadership and learned how to actually run a festival. In 2008, he was again inspired to start the Boise Rec Fest when he realized "the heart and center of Boise and Idaho is recreation."

Boise Rec Fest launches on the weekend of June 26-27 in Ann Morrison Park. As for recreation, anyone with a pulse should be able to find something he or she likes or is at least curious about. The festival is meant for all ages and skill levels and welcomes any type of recreation: foot, bike or ski, indoors or out, and at any time of year.

Family activities will include baseball, basketball, disc golf, footbags, golf, horseshoes, skateboarding, soccer, tennis, volleyball and more. Workshops will discuss avalanche safety, backcountry hiking, trail running, mountain biking, river floating, disc golf, cycling, wilderness medicine, yoga, Zumba and qigong.

"It's unique because we do not focus on one particular type of recreation," said Adler. "Instead, we represent any form and provide one place to come have fun and learn about all types of recreation."

Event organizers decided to use local vendors as much as possible in order to promote a grass-roots-style festival. Expect to see Idaho businesses such as Boise Co-op, Brundage Mountain Resort, Cascade Raft and Kayak, Idaho Angler and many more.

"We also have really wanted to avoid using traveling vendors, exhibitors, food stands and bands," Adler said.

The festival will also feature two days of live music for all attendees, free of charge. Adler admits he first wanted the festival to include at least a couple of big-name acts, but organizers later embraced the idea of staying local.

"I have put together the music lineup for both days, which will feature all Boise bands," said Stephanie Coyle, a steering committee member for Go Listen Boise.

Go Listen Boise is a volunteer collection of music supporters that promotes the Boise-area music community and helps select local acts for Alive After Five. Coyle said the festival music lineup features about a dozen acts, including Low-fi, Steve Fulton and Boise Rock School.

Finding enough sponsors and vendors to support a large event is a tall order in times of a recession, but organizers have done just that. Adler (who was working as a software manager) said his original intention was to accept a paid position as festival director. However, the tough fundraising has meant his salary had to be sacrificed thus far.

"We did succeed in raising enough to put the event on, but we did not raise as much as we wanted," he said.

Beth Markley with Friends of the Park, a volunteer board managing the capital campaign for the Ray Neef MD River Recreation Park, said she empathizes with Adler's fundraising challenge and hopes Friends of the Park can help support the festival by having an information booth there.

She expressed excitement for both the River Park and Rec Fest.

"They are both strong projects," she said.

Adler later shrugged off the fundraising topic and instead talked excitedly about how the festival's wine court will exclusively serve Idaho wines and how the potatoes at the food court will only be Idaho potatoes.

"This is an Idaho-based and Idaho-supported event," he said.


Outside Magazine Blog - The Good Route: Elements at Play

By Mary Catherine O'Connor


Four years ago, kayakers Seth Warren and Tyler Bradt loaded their gear and some bacon grease into a 1987 Toyota truck (a former Japanese firetruck) that they'd converted to run on biodiesel and started an epic journey from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Cape Horn, Chile. Their mission was to paddle a multitude of rivers, teach school kids they'd meet along the way about the future of renewable energy, and avoid using petroleum-based fuel for as much of the drive as possible. They scored on all three counts, completing what they believe is the longest non-petroleum-fuel road trip, ever. "We put some extremely questionable stuff in that engine," says Warren, referring to pig oil, fish oil and who-knows-what-oil."But it all worked."

The trip produced an award-winning documentary, Oil + Water.  Warren then took to the life of the nomadic energy educator, going on to complete another roadtrip in the eco-rig, named Baby, in 2008 and 2009. That time he focused on the changing seasons in the mountain West of the US. And another film, Nature Propelled, emerged.

Now, Warren is launching Baby on another tour, Playgrounds Reimagined, during which they're visiting the best natural playgrounds--epic mountain bike trails and surf breaks, for example--around the West, while visiting outdoor arts and food festivals to publicize the tour and gather interviews for his next film project.

Their next stop is Boise's Rec Fest, June 26 and 27. The full summer tour schedule is below:

  • June 26-27 at Boise Rec Fest in Boise, ID (Youth Stage)
  • July 16-18 at Grand Targhee Music Fest in Driggs, ID
  • July 23-25 at  Rocky Grass Bluegrass Festival in Lyons, CO
  • August 1 at Michael Franti concert in Durango, CO
  • August 19-21 at Pier 33 in San Francisco, fundraiser on the Hornblower Hybrid for the Sierra Nevada Alliance
  • August 26 at street party, 13th street in Portland
  • September 2 at street party in Seattle, in Ballard near the KAVU retail store

--Mary Catherine O'Connor is a freelance writer, covering the environment, sustainability and outdoor recreation. The Good Route, her blog for Outside Online, is focused on the places where the active life and sustainability merge.


KIVI - Good Morning Live Interview



Idaho Statesman - Rec Fest, a two-day recreation celebration is planned in Boise in June 2010

BY BETHANN STEWART - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Ever wonder what the chain-link baskets in Ann Morrison Park are for?

You'll be able to try your hand at disc golf and lots of other outdoor activities at Boise Rec Fest planned in Ann Morrison Park.

Rec Fest is the brainchild of Brett Adler, who moved to Idaho seven years ago. The first day he lived here, Blues Traveler was playing at the Boise River Festival.

"I've lived in big cities and seen big festivals succeed," Adler said. "The River Festival didn't die from lack of (public) interest."

The River Festival, a Boise summer tradition for 13 years, folded and filed for bankruptcy in the fall of 2003. The festival owed nearly 100 creditors a total of almost $1.8 million.

Among its financial problems was its loss in 2003 of a $150,000 corporate sponsor.

Rather than re-create the River Festival, Adler decided to try something new but hopefully as popular as the River Festival was in its heyday.

"There is nothing more at the heart and center of what Boise and Idaho is than recreation," he said.

He left his job at a small software company in June and has been working on Rec Fest full time since then. He is working on getting nonprofit status for Idaho Rec Connection Inc., which will organize and run the event.

While the event is planned for Boise, it won't just be about recreating in the city but all over the state, Adler said.

Rec Fest will be free to the public and rely on sponsorship and exhibitor fees. Adler plans to have sport demonstrations, informational booths and food.

"The big thing for all this is to be community based," Adler said. "It's not about bringing in outsiders or bringing a carnival to town."

For example, the food section will include local vendors and outdoor staples such as Dutch oven cooking and barbecue. Idaho Angler has offered to hold a fly-fishing clinic in the river, and Newt and Harold's might create a skate park, Adler said.

Based on what he's learned about other events, Adler hopes to attract hundreds of vendors and 30,000 to 40,000 visitors, he said.

He also plans to create ways to raise money for two organizations during Rec Fest - the Idaho Children and Nature Network and Boise Parks and Recreation youth scholarship program.

One way might be to sell bracelets that come with additional perks and give a portion of the proceeds to those groups, he said.

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation already has signed on as a sponsor of the event. The agency is lending its support in exchange for booth space, said Jennifer Wernex, communications director for Idaho Parks and Recreation.

"We're going to be on site sharing messages about recreational opportunities in Idaho, and safe and ethical recreation," she said.

The agency is a partner with Idaho Children and Nature Network, which formed Be Outside, a group of public and private agencies whose goal is to introduce kids to nature.

Adler's vision for Rec Fest is in line with the agency's mission, said Jennifer Wernex, communications director for Idaho Parks and Recreation.

"What we're seeing is this huge change in technology and how kids interact with the world," Wernex said. "More things are happening inside. We want to raise a generation that appreciates what we have."

Boise hasn't hosted a big recreation festival before, said CeCe Gassner, economic development assistant to Mayor David Bieter.

"We think it will be a great festival to highlight the recreational and outdoor activities available in Idaho, and we're really glad it's taking place in the city," Gassner said.

Bethann Stewart: 377-6393


Boise Weekly - The Return of the Festival

by Deanna Darr


Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, the people gathered each summer to celebrate the great river which flowed through their town.

They tried to put a parade on the river itself—but the floats kept getting stuck on sandbars, so that stopped.

They moved the parade to the streets, and despite a couple of years of near biblical downpours during said parade, it seemed to work. With hot air balloon rallies, concerts, food and fireworks, the people were happy.

Slowly though, the expense of putting on such a show doomed the Boise River Festival to become nothing but a memory.

But now, a small group is trying to revive the idea of the summer festival, unveiling the Boise Rec Fest, celebrating everything we Treasure Valley dwellers love to do outdoors.

Brett Adler, fledgling festival founder, has just unveiled the event’s first Web site ( and a swanky new logo designed by Chryssa Rich. Adler is going full-force, setting up links for the event on Facebook and Twitter, and actively seeking fellow festival fanatics who want to throw their support behind the effort, be it in the form of sponsorships, donations, partnerships, volunteering or organization.

Adler has his sights set on 2010 for the inaugural Rec Fest, and is busy recruiting supporters. Check out the Web site for more information, and to find out how to get involved. Or e-mail Adler at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .