Category Archives: Festival

Slow Walking in Italy

Slow Travel Fest for Nordic Walkers and others.

SlowTravelFest-logoThis announcement of the 2015 Slow Travel Fest is so intriguing (and tempting) that I am sharing it in its entirety. The website, alas, is only in Italian.  Here it is:

The inspiring new Slow Travel Fest, taking place in and around medieval Monteriggioni, near Siena in Italy from October 9 to 11, is offering walkers of all levels some unique propositions, as well as the chance to explore stunning Tuscan landscapes and the ancient pilgrim route – the Via Francigena.

This sustainable tourism focused festival – Italy’s only festival devoted solely to slow travel – will be welcoming walkers who wish to reconnect with nature, increase their health and fitness, discover incredible new villages, beauty spots and architecture, or simply walk for pleasure.

Continue reading Slow Walking in Italy

9-Day Walking Festival in England

The Brits really get the benefits and pleasures of walking (“tramping” as they call it in the country), and walking with poles is part of the picture. Here’s what the Staffordshire newsletter writes about its upcoming walking festival. Staffordshire is in the West Midlands, the largest nearby city being Birmingham. The photo below is also from the borough’s newsletter story.

Stafford Borough Walking Festival returns for its sixth year on Saturday, May 2, and runs until Sunday, May 10.

More than 30 activities will be running at locations including the Trentham Estate, Izaak Walton Cottage, Shugborough Hall and Doxey Marshes. There will also be fun family events linked to walks, such as a treasure hunt in Stafford town centre, a fairy hunt in Victoria Park and picnics at the Trentham Monkey Forest.

Anyone interested in taking up a new way of walking is invited to try out Nordic walking, a whole body exercise using specially designed poles. Instructor Gareth Davies will be running taster sessions at Rowley Park each day and borough residents who want to do more Nordic Walking, and normally exercise for less than 150 minutes a week, can sign up to a 10 week course for just £20.



Wine, Wings & Snowshoeing at Colorado Resort

CopperUncorkedCopper Uncorked appeals to wine-lovers, wing-aholics & snowshoeing addicts

Copper Mountain hosts an interesting and casual wine event during Valentines Day Weekend or Presidents Weekend. “Copper Uncorked (and In Love)” is not your average wine festival. It takes place at Burning Stones Plaza in Center Village and features affordable wines from across the globe ripe for tasting throughout the February 14-16 weekend, while chefs from around Copper Mountain compete for best pairing during the Wine-n-Wing Challenge on Saturday, February 15.

Following is an event that appeals to me about as much as a chance to sample those wines, a Moonlight Snowshoe Tour from 5 to 8 p.m. Copper Mountain’s congenial Resort Ambassadors lead the tour, which starts from West Village and traverses frozen creeks and wooded trails, leading to a romantic meadow (actually around Copper Creek Golf Course) lit by the full moon. Finish up the evening with s’mores around the bonfire and a mulled wine on the plaza. Space is limited, please call Guest Services to reserve a spot, call 970-968-2318 ext. 45861.

Cross-posted to

Snowshoeing On Stage in Estes Park This Weekend

Snowshoeing and other winter pleasures celebrated this weekend

Estes Park, eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, and the park itself are the place to go for snowshoeing immersion this weekend. And what a weekend it promises to be. The town and the park got some accumulation from yesterday’s snowstorm that deposited 5 inches of fluff on my back deck down in Boulder, and another storm this afternoon and evening promises an additional 5 to 11 inches. Should be ideal for snowshoeing and snowplay this weekend.

The fouth annual  Estes Park Winter Festival takes place from Friday, January 13 to Monday, January 16. It kicks off on Friday with the Ceilidh Irish Barn Dances. Festival events include wine and microbrew tastings in a heated tent, an elaborate ice castle, children’s activities, a chili cook-off, music, special sales, art shows, restaurant specials, horsedrawn carriage rides, hot air balloon glow and more. The schedule and prices (all reasonable or FREE) are more comprehensive than we have room for, but click here for details, call 970-577-9900 or 800-44-ESTES.

This family-friendly festival partners with the 18th Annual Winter Trails Day held Saturday, January 14 at the Glacier parking lot in Rocky Mountain National Park. Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend happens to be a FREE day in all FREE demo snowshoes and tours try them out. Winter Trails Day elsewhere last Saturday (I went to the one Echo Lake), but RMNP is the site of a bonus event. The fine folks from REI’s Denver Flagship organized the event (and brought snowshoes from their rental fleet), and Alpine Rescue Team volunteers led short, complimentary snowshoe walks along the lakeshore. The Alpine Rescue folks used the opportunity to caution backcountry neophytes on winter safety in the outdoors.

Continue reading Snowshoeing On Stage in Estes Park This Weekend

Saturday is National Trails Day

Annual event showcases & honors America’s recreation trails

I have a quiver of walking poles. These include various brands of specific Nordic Walking poles and a pair of hiking poles that have hundreds of miles and many seasons on them. I keep the rubber booties on some of the Nordic Walking poles and grab those for my daily morning 2-miler right in town, and I leave the tips off others when I know I’m heading for an unpaved trail. For harder mountain treks, I take more rugged hiking/trekking poles. To me, trails are treasures — whether along a rushing stream, across a meadow, through the forest or up a mountain. I am fortunate to live in a state, a metropolitan area, a city and a county laced with trails. All are open for Nordic Walkers, runners and hikers, so I celebrate National Trails Day with gratitude.

The American Hiking Society’s 16th annual National Trails Day, which this year is on Saturday, June 4, adapts to each participating community’s needs: group hikes or bike ride, horseback ride, maintenance project, paddle trip, health fair, children’s event and more. To find your nearest event, click here and scroll down. Either enter your zip code in the appropriate box or click on you state on the U.S., and you’ll get a list of options. Join, donate and participate to make this day a national success.

Nordic Walking at San Diego "Green Day" Fest

Nordic Walking fits right in with other eco-info

Jeff DeMeester, founder of San Diego Nordic Walking, is participating in the “It’s A Green Day Festival” on Saturday August 7 at NTC Park, Liberty Station, Point Loma, California. Find him at Booth No. 40a.

Events include elaborate opening ceremonies, free live reggae and blues music, fashion and activities, info on emerging and available technologies that promote solutions to environmental problems, ways to green your world by saving energy, reducing pollution, recycling, healthy living, green home products, educational workshops and eco-businesses. San Diego Nordic Walking fits right in, because it is a simple, healthy, and minimally impactful activity.
San Diego Nordic Walking founder Jeff DeMeester is a Keenfit, Fittrek, Leki and ANWA trained Nordic Walking instructor. Locals know him for his Cowles Mountain hikes and clinics around town. His hope has been to help people find ways to get out and explore, especially addressing the needs of people who may need added stability or want to add something to their everyday walk or run. The Green Day event is part of his outreach. It’s a Green Day Festival is actually a multi-city campaign dedicated to connecting people to resources and information for a greener planet, life with a focus on the dawning era of creativity, and innovation in “green technology” (also known as “clean technology”). The Expos and Festivals are bringing together pioneers dedicated to the promise of a healthier planet, as well as the prospect of growing businesses that promote sustainability.

Contact DeMeester at 619-507-9835

Nordic Walking Community Conjunction

June 12, 2010, was a landmark day in Nordic Walking cooperative efforts

Two significant Nordic Walking events occurred yesterday — not the introduction of a new kind of pole or the unveiling of yet another technique tweak, but one event and news of a new grassroots organization that underscore the commonality of different aspects of the Nordic Walking community. As I often say in conversation with people involved in Nordic Walking, whether instructors/trainers/educators or pole suppliers, I have no horse in this race. I don’t care which technique new Nordic Walkers learn or which poles they use. I have an ardent belief that Nordic Walking presents an opportunity to get outside and that poles add a fitness/cardio/upper body bonus to any walk. This is true for elderly people who gain stability and confidence from using poles to competitive walkers who are capable of marathon distance Nordic Walks and for the big bell curve of Nordic Walkers in between. It encourages me advocates of one particular technique or sellers of one particular pole brand find ways to work together to elevate the entire activity. That happened twice on June 12, 2010.

Nordic Walking Expo

Hyland Park in Bloomington, Minnesota, was the site of the second annual Nordic Walking Expo, an exposition — free and open to the public — to introduce Nordic Walking to a new constituency, to include Nordic Walking enthusiasts in the Twin Cities area and to underscore the social aspects of Nordic Walking as a small-group activity. I was unable to attend this year, but reports are that the weather, which started out clear and dry, unfortunately deteriorated as the day went on, but enthusiasm did not wane among those who stayed.

The Expo was both national and local in nature. Great Lakes Nordic Walkers, formed as a small pod of Twin Cities instructors, planned a local promotion. Nordic Walking North America, a US-Canadian group that started last year and put on the first annual Expo, was seeking a site for the second one. The local event became a national one, using the name Nordic Walking Expo, and the pattern is now established for future events.  NWNA president Malin Swenson and vice president Gary Johnson are already beginning to look at locations for 2011. If you have any suggestions, click here and submit your ideas via the comment form.

Equipment manufacturers and distributors, and Nordic Walking educators were on hand to present workshops and lead Nordic Walking classes. I was unable to attend this year, but I did participate by phone in a debriefing of sorts. I believe it was Suzanne Nottingham, a veteran fitness instructor and founder of Nordic Walking Now, who observed, “People were really smart and asked good questions. It was the first time at an event that people could pull me aside to talk. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Speaking from the local perspective, Linda “Nordic Walking Queen” Lemke, called the Expo a “thrilling event” and was enthusiastic about the presence of national leaders on the Nordic Walking scene. She also went on to describe some of the various programs she is involved with in the Twin Cities. Working with Hoigaard’s, a major outdoor sporting goods retailer, has provided a Lemke with a platform to work from and support for even modest individual outreach efforts. The concepts of some of the programs were fodder for thought among others at the meeting.

I don’t have attendance guesstimates or even any images, but when I receive some that I may share, I’ll do another post.

World Nordic Walking Federation

Also on June 12, the announcement came via the UK-based Nordic Walking eCommunity about a new grassroots organization called the World Nordic Walking Federation. The three well-known names spearheading this effort Marko Kantenev from Finland who first codified what has come to be called European-style Nordic Walking, Mike “Walking Wizard” Gates from Australia and America’s own pioneer, Tom Rutlin who developed Exerstrider poles and the  Exerstrider Method.

These big names from the Nordic Walking world  brainstormed this but Say they are minimally interested in “leading” anything and mostly interested in growing world-wide interest in Nordic Walking as a recreation, fitness and public-health activity.To that end, there will not be a board of directors but rather a board of servers who served the Nordic Walking community. Idealistic, perhaps, but hopefully also effective in bridging the Nordic Walking turf wars that in many ways retard the growth of the activity, especially in this country.There is no website yet, but it will be web-based organization.

The mission statement and other founding principle are as follows (this from the eCommunity site and presumably available for sites like this):


“The mission of the World Nordic Walking Federation is to unite member individuals, organizations and industry partners in educational, research and promotional projects aimed at increasing participation in Nordic Walking and thus creating a critically needed positive impact on public health on every continent around the globe. Our central focus will be on educating, empowering and encouraging people of all ages, abilities and means to enjoy a more active life, and in doing so prevent the onset of many of the epidemic diseases of sedentary living through regular enjoyment of the body, mind and spirit-nurturing benefits of Nordic Walking”. (end of statement)
Since service to the expanding Nordic Walking community is the mission of the WNWF, it is proposed that there be created a Board of Servers (as opposed to Board of Directors). While this board will by necessity help direct the early course of the Federation it is intended that a board consisting of those committed to serving the community would underscore the mission of the Federation on the premise that the power of the Federation is derived from serving the grass roots community. To this end, each Server will be expected to make a pledge to the community, as follows:


“As a member (of the Board of Servers ) of the World Nordic Walking Federation, I pledge to place the organization’s mission of service to the Nordic Walking community ahead of my personal and/or professional goals with a full understanding that a united effort fully committed to serving — rather than exploiting — the Nordic Walking community through the Federation’s stated mission is what is absolutely essential in order to bring about the maximum life-changing public health impact and participation in this fun, healthy, life-enriching physical activity on a global scale”. (end of pledge)

Work is currently ongoing to develop the mechanics of the organisation. A domain name has been allocated and a web site is under construction to serve as the focal point for information. At the same time, this forum will also provide updates on development and will facilitate discussion.

There will surely continue to be bumps in the Nordic Walking road, but I am greatly encouraged by two conduits for cooperation and communication regarding Nordic Walking,

2010 Nordic Walking Expo Schedule

Full day of events set for tomorrow’s mega-event in Bloomington, Minnesota

Event: Nordic Walking Expo
Place: Hyland Park
Date: Saturday, June 12
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


9:00 Class – “So you think you can walk?” presented by Malin Svensson (president, Nordic Walking North America and author of Nordic Walking, published by Human Kinetics).  Enhancement of regular walking without poles

9:30 Lecture – “Injury Prevention for Nordic Walkers” presented by Suzanne Nottingham (founder and director of Nordic Walk Now and author of Nordic Walking for Total Fitness, Human Kinetics). Nordic walking skills and movements for the safest, most effective techniques to stay safe and injury-free.

10-10:30 Class – Group walk around Hyland; can run longer if group wishes, led by three top Nordic Walking educators, Tom Rutlin (Exerstrider), Suzanne Nottingham (Nordic Walk Now) and Malin Svensson (NWNA).

11:30 Lecture “That Girl” 2010: New City, New Job and New Life, or How I Started My Own Nordic Walking Bisiness, Lindy Spiezer Smith (formerly LEKI USA marketing director). Lindy left LEKI in Buffalo and moved to Florida for family reasons, then turnied her passion for elder health into a business  that make a profit within a year.

12:00 Class – “K9 Nordic Walking,” Kristine Zellmer and her Alaskan Huskie, Caird (Skijor Now). Canine  Nordic walking, an exciting new sport in the Nordic Walker wears a padded waist belt and the dog gets robust exercise from pulling instead of just walking on a leash). Harnesses are available to those who  bring their dogs.

12:30 Lecture – “Active Aging Through Nordic Walking.” “Nordic Walking Queen” Linda Lemke (Great Lakes Nordic Walkers). Nordic Walking to help people stay active, stay mobile, improve balance and stability (less chance of a fall), support the lower joints and helps promote healthy bones. “It’s fun, it’s social and it’s outdoors,” Lemke reminds people.

1:00 Class – “Intro to Exerstride Method Nordic Walking,” Tom Rutlin (Exerstrider). Pioneer in developing special poles for fitness walking and the technique that goes with it introduces the simple basics of this original “Nordic American” technique that he introduced in the U.S. in 1988. .

1:30 Lecture – “Burn More Calories with Less Effort,” Malin Svensson (NWNA). Seven simple secrets on how to “Burn More Calories with Less Effort.” You will walk away with effective tips on how to get into your best shape ever and how to overcome the most common obstacles to exercising through Nordic Walking.

2:00 Class -“Boot Camp 1,” Suzanne Nottingham (NWN), Join Nottingham for a fun and original outdoor cross-training excursion from her recently released book, Nordic Walking for Total Fitness. This class is intended as a mixed-intensity movement experience through safe and progressive training methods for those with some Nordic Walking experience.

2:30 Lecture)- “Play it Safe, Nordic Walking Jeopardy,” Bonnie Dau (Revel Sports). Nordic walking is naturally a fun and safe activity, but an ounce of prevention can make it safer yet.  Bonnie counts on audience participation to play the game of “Jeopardy,” highlighting ways to stay while Nordic Walking. Revel Sports will be giving out nominal prizes to the winners.

3:00 Class – “Nordic Walking Adventure Circuit,” Gary Johnson (NWNA vice president). Adding various exercises to a Nordic Walk with the equipment all around. The interval class incorporates upper and lower body exercises to get a great whole body workout

3:30 Lecture – “The Future of Nordic Walking… Impacting Public Health on a Global Scale,” Tom Rutlin (Exerstrider). A growing number of people share a vision of impacting public health on a global scale through fitness walking with poles. Rutlin and others see Nordic Walking’s potential for the greatest impact on global public health of any exercise trend since Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s book Aerobics launched the modern exercise movement more than four decades ago.

Also, every 20 minutes (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). Join an instructor try different types of poles.

Be there!

Nordic Walking Expo in Minneapolis Shaping Up Grandly

INWA Veep’s thoughts about upcoming NW Expo

I’ve written before about the 2010 Nordic Walking Expo this coming Saturday in Bloomington just outside of Minneapolis, and I will again. It seems as if the seeds sown by the first Expo organized last year in Santa Monica by the Nordic Walking North America are sprouting. With Midwestern enthusiasm and the boots-on-the-ground efforts of Great Lakes Nordic Walking, it promises to be a super event. Here’s what NWNA vice president Gary Johnson wrote in the organization’s current newsletter:

“We are very pleased to be adding to this years vendor participation in the EXPO. We had all the Vendors from last year return LEKI, EXEL, SWIX, Exerstrider, Nordic Walk Now, and Nordic Body, but we have expanded this year to included Gabel and Boomyah and a first a company not part of the traditional Nordic Walking Community, Skechers Shape-Ups.. The addition of Gabel and Boomyah is proof that the underlying premise of NWNA to bring the Nordic Walking Community together is taking hold and there are many more vendors promising to attend next year. The big news is the addition of Skechers Shape-Ups Since they don’t travel in the traditional Nordic Walking circles they can be instrumental in bringing this great activity to a much wider audience, remember Skechers had an add during the Super Bowl broadcast. I am sure we will be able to show Skechers at the EXPO the vibrant and growing community of Nordic Walkers here in North America and convince them that Nordic Walking is a growth segment they want to be part of. To bring Nordic Walking to the mainstream we need mainstream companies like Skechers to get behind this great activity and as we all know once we get people give Nordic Walking a try they will be hooked.”

Amen to that!

Nomen Est Omen, Even in Nordic Walking

Latin proverb suits US Nordic Walking instructor and the Internet makes finding her straighforward

The Latin proverb describes people whose names and professions match. Remember Catch 22, in which Joseph Heller invented an Army officer named Major Major who reached the rank of Major and therefore was Major Major Major? When I lived in New Jersey, there was a dentist in my town named Mark Doktor and therefore was Dr. Doktor. Another real-life nomen est omen individual is Nicole Brule-Walker, a Nordic Walking instructor in a Thirsk, a North Yorkshire community. Thirsk is also the location of the upcoming Fresh Air Festival on July 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Brule-Walker will be conducting Nordic Walking demonstations there.

The Internet is quite amazing, isn’t it? I found out where Thirsk is, and I found out that Nicole Brule-Walker is a also rehabilitation therapist and Pilates instructor — and even that she and her husband operate a kennel on their farm. Knowing that she teaches Nordic Walking, I also found her via the Nordic Walking UK website, whose search function enables people to locate specific British instructors by name or find classes (called “tuition” in the UK) by geographic region. Click here for her page on the association’s website.