Outdoor Project Kicks Off Series of Solstice Block Parties in Portland 

There’s no better excuse to toss a couple of cold ones back than drinking for a cause — especially when it’s supporting your local communities. Our friends at Outdoor Project and Ecliptic Brewing teamed up for the 4th Annual Solstice Block Party Saturday, June 17th which launches a series of block parties throughout the summer.

Each of these events feature an afternoon of live music, craft beer, food, outdoor gear demos, and games–all in celebration of each local outdoor community. In 2016, Outdoor Project’s Portland event hosted over 4,000 people and raised over $6,000 for Outdoor School for All.

This year, the Portland event managed to raise over $4,000 for Forest Grove, Oregon-based non-profit, Adventures Without Limits. The Pacific Northwest adventurers facilitate outdoor exploration for all ability levels by empowering individuals with skills, confidence, and the idea of overcoming personal goals, through knowledge and exposure to the outdoors.

Not only were they the stars of the show in terms of support, but Adventures Without Limits also hosted a series of crazy and exciting caterpillar races:

The attractions went far beyond pints of Ecliptic’s robust amber ale and scents of grilling bratwurst. Outdoor Project welcomed over 40 outdoor vendors to the party, each engaging with the locals through different methods. The Rumpl tent had a persistent line for their bobbing for beer blankets challenge to try a win one of their awesome down blankets. So awesome, I thought I’d give it a shot:

It’s safe to say bobbing for apples isn’t my thing. But, I picked up a sweet beer blanket from the @goRumpl tent. @outdoorproject — Bryan Holt

PrAna also gave away some stellar prizes and a whole lot of buzzed entertainment for their rock wall challenges. Despite wearing my tightest pair of jeans, I gave it a-go:

Picked up an L, but had a blast climbing in tight jeans at the @prAna climbing wall @outdoorproject #SolsticeBlockParty2017 — Bryan Holt

The event also hosted a heap of brands that we love here at The Manual, and some new friends. Our buddies over at Danner were selling some of their legendary hiking boots, Patagonia put on a gear fix booth to help with donations, and Arc’teryx put on a Yahtzee frenzy for a chance to win high-quality, mountain-grade swag.

Colorado-based ZEAL Optics was one brand that stood out, as their sunglasses are both stunning and sustainable. All of ZEAL’s frames are either plant- or wood- based products, making for an undeniably appreciative carbon footprint. Another was Oregon-based Earth Hatz, who crafts simplistic hats with nature designs out of recycled plastic water bottles.

There were also some superb local bands that rocked the stage throughout the day. Indie folk rock group Tumbledown kicked off the party, while Kory Quinn’s alternative americana style could barely keep this guy in his seat:

My man was loving him some @koryquinnmusic yesterday at the #SolsticeBlockParty2017 @EclipticBrewing @outdoorproject — Bryan Holt

Portland-based startup Outdoor Project was created in 2013 with one mission — make it easier for people to find and plan outdoor adventures. Four years later, they’ve now become a resource hub for outdoor enthusiasts — built by outdoor enthusiasts — who want you to have the best experience possible.

Make sure you catch them when they bring the party to a city near you, and help support your local outdoor communities!

Here’s the full roster of upcoming events:

July 8: Denver, Colorado at Denver Beer Co.; Denver Mountain Parks
July 29: Seattle, Washington at Optimism Brewing; SheJumps
August 26: Bend, Oregon at Deschutes Brewery; Oregon Natural Desert Association
September 16: Salt Lake City, Utah at Uinta Brewing Co.; Utah Open Lands
September 23: San Francisco, California at 21st Amendment Brewing; Big City Mountaineers
October 14: Los Angeles/San Diego, TBD