Saturday, October 8, 2011

New fall festival to benefit planned Shawnee Mission Park addition

The Johnson County Park & Recreation District will host a family adventure and challenge event on Saturday, October 15, at the site of a planned addition to Shawnee Mission Park. The Double Ogg Dare Festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the future Oak Ridge Lodge and adjoining parklands along Ogg Road at the northwest corner of the park.

The festival is a benefit to help fund development of the Oak Ridge addition that is planned to include a meeting and event facility, multiple trailheads, and 100 acres of wildflower meadows and native prairie surrounded by hardwood forest.

The event will start with a 1.5-mile Family Walk & Stroll at 9 a.m., and will feature a trail run and road race, six different mountain bike challenges, an orienteering course, live bluegrass music, and a future park site full of back-to-nature children’s activities. A schedule and complete summary of the day’s activities are available at http://www.doubleoggdare.com/.

Admission to the festival is only $5 and there is no charge for children 10 and under. There is a $25 entry fee for the two running events and four of the mountain bike challenges. The entry fee includes festival admission and a t-shirt, and pre-registration through the festival website is encouraged for those events.

Access to the festival will be through The Theatre in the Park entrance at 7710 Renner Road in Shawnee. Festival tickets will be available at the theatre box office and a free shuttle service will be provided from the theatre parking lot to the festival site on Ogg Road. The Family Walk & Stroll and all of the running and mountain bike challenges will originate from the theatre parking lot.

The family and children’s activities scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. include storytelling, hayrides, Ernie Miller Nature Center wildlife presentations, make-it-and-take-it art projects, and lawn games. There also will be an Amazing Family Adventure event, an obstacle course, and an introduction to geocaching. All of the family and children’s activities are included in the festival admission.

Regional bluegrass favorite The Konza Swamp Band will be on stage from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and concessions will be available throughout the day.

The festival’s partnering organizations include the EarthRiders Trails Association, Kansas City Trail Nerds, Possum Trot Orienteering Club, Friends for Parks and Recreation, EimerCreative, and Johnson County Sertoma Club.

Net proceeds and donations generated through the event will help match a $250,000 challenge grant from The Park and Recreation Foundation of Johnson County for development of the Oak Ridge Lodge park site. The site is immediately north of and adjacent to Shawnee Mission Park, and it stretches from Ogg Road to Mill Creek Streamway Park.

The property was acquired by the foundation in the 1980’s from Warren W. and Charlotte Mack. In 1987 the Johnson County Park & Recreation District entered into a lease/purchase agreement with the foundation for acquisition of the property. The master plan for the lodge and adjoining parklands is available at http://jcprd.com/pages/oakridgelodge.cfm.
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