Yes, you have your pick of the litter when it comes to climbing and outdoor festivals in the United States. But how many of those festivals are owned by Black folks? Few and far between. This blog is dedicated to celebrating those who take the necessary steps forward towards ownership in the outdoor industry. Not only are we celebrating ownership but the positive energy each of these spaces provide.
Black Joy Parade: Oakland's fight for joy
Refuge Outdoor Festival: Sundaes Outside
The Gathering by Staples InTents
Black joy parade
The Black Joy Parade was birthed out of a need to balance the marching for Black lives with the marching for Black Joy. Founders Elisha Greenwell and Amber Lester of this 6-year old non-profit organization work with a robust team that brings out over 10,000 folks to one of the Blackest cities in the United States. This parade, held rain or shine in February features vendors, performances and the Black Joy Parade Choir, a large group of singers from the Bay lending their voice for an unforgettable experience.
Click HERE to donate and support the spreading of more Black joy.
Refuge outdoor festival
Chevon Powell is the founder of Golden Bricks Events, an outdoor-focused BIPOC-centered event production company. With the support of her team, she produces a variety of events throughout the year providing space for BIPOC folks to gather in the outdoors.
The Refuge Outdoor Festival is the largest event Chevon's produces held every August in Washington State. This 3-day festival offers workshops, camping and access to local vendors.
GBE also produces Sundaes Outside, a celebration of Black folks. Enjoy a day of pure relaxation while also supporting Black-owned businesses and build community with others.
Click HERE to get tickets to this year's upcoming events.
They wanted to educate and encourage others about the healing nature of the outdoors. To take that education to the next step, they founded "The Gathering," a space for outdoor adventurers to learn about camping and overlanding.
The Gathering returns to Hendersonville, North Carolina October 19-22 and is designed for beginners to advanced outdoor enthusiasts. Their goal is to increase diversity in the outdoors and help folks become more comfortable and confident about outdoor adventure. Click HERE to learn more about the festival and to register.
If you've been to any of these festivals, share your experience below. Make sure you join the 1OC-Blk Out Fest email list for all things Black and excellent in the Outdoors. The 2023 Blk Out Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee returns this year to satisfy your bouldering #blackjoy needs.