The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa City hosts first Get Outside! Festival to encourage outdoor fun

A highlight of the festival was a skydiving demonstration in City Park on Sunday.
Isabella Tisdale
A festival-goer fishes during the Get Outside Festival at City Park in Iowa City on Sunday Oct. 8, 2023. The festival included canoeing, rock climbing, archery and more.(Isabella Tisdale/The Daily Iowan)

The City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation services put on the first “Get Outside!” festival on Sunday in Lower City Park. The festival featured all kinds of outdoor activities ranging from skydiving demonstrations to canoeing the Iowa River, to archery.

The festival also had live music from Dave Zollo and the Body Electric, as well as several food trucks and stands.

Michelle Wiegand, Iowa City Parks and Recreation Supervisor of Special Events and Communications, spearheaded the event in hopes of promoting use of Iowa’s outdoor spaces and more physical movement and recreation for the Iowa City community.

“The ‘Get Outside! Festival’ was to really showcase all of Iowa’s natural landscapes,” Wiegand said. “I think Iowa is really often under-appreciated in terms of natural beauty, so we wanted to really encourage people to get outside and enjoy those spaces.”

A highlight of the day’s festivities was the skydiving demonstration put on by Skydive Iowa. Several skydivers dropped into the park as festival attendees watched from below.

Skydive Iowa teacher John Poeppe especially enjoyed participating in the festival.

“It’s really cool to land with all these people, and just show people skydiving in a different scenario,” People said. “Normally we’re just jumping at the airport, and it was cool flying around because we got to see all of Iowa City.”

The majority of people enjoying the festivities were families with younger kids. The whole park was packed with kids playing all kinds of games and dancing to live music.

Iowa City resident Elizabeth Eslami said the festival was a great opportunity for her family to enjoy the fall weather.

RELATED: DITV: Iowa City Parks and Rec Department Holds Special Sensory Friendly Event

“We couldn’t ask for more than this,” Eslami said. “We heard about the festival through Facebook and thought it sounded like a really cool opportunity for young kids. It has been so fun and it’s a beautiful day.”

Although the most people attending the event were local families, Wiegand hopes that more University of Iowa students will take advantage of the festival and other recreational services while they are here for school.

“Iowa City is a fun place to be whether you’re a student or you’re staying over the summer, and maybe if they want to stick around after college, they can find a place and make this a community for the future too,” Wiegand said.

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About the Contributors
Grace Olson
Grace Olson, News Reporter
Grace Olson is a first-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications. She's a news reporter for The DI, reporting primarily on local government. She is from Denver, Colorado and worked on the pirnt publication from her high school prior to her work in college.
Isabella Tisdale
Isabella Tisdale, Photojournalist
Isabella Tisdale is a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan and is a senior at West High school. In her free time, she stage manages for the theater program at West High. She plans to double major in political science and journalism.