Thanks so much to everyone who helped make the Lyons Outdoor Games happen this year. The Town of Lyons estimates that between 2750 and 4000 people attended the Games. “It was our biggest and best Games ever,” said Parks & Rec Director Dave Cosgrove. “We generated over $40,000 for Lyons Parks and Recreation!”
Lyons, CO – Outdoor enthusiasts, craft beer aficionados, adventure sports fans, and live music lovers descended on the open space in the unaffected areas of Bohn Park in Lyons, CO, for Oskar Blues Burning CAN Beer Festival and the Lyons Outdoor Games. It was a day filled with beautiful ColoRADo sunshine, great beer, and an overwhelming amount of support for a community still recovering from the devastating floods that washed through the state last September.
Fifty-two innovative and can-centric breweries from across the U.S. gathered to create the largest and most successful Burning CAN Beer Festival to-date, drawing an attendance of nearly 2,000 people under views of Rocky Mountain National Park. Oskar Blues Brewery announced on Wednesday morning that all proceeds from the festival tallied a grand total of over $45,000 for the CAN’d Aid Foundation, all of which will be distributed to local benefactors, the Colorado Brewers Guild, and the Town of Lyons Parks & Recreation Department-an organization still seeking resources to repair much of the damaged infrastructure of Lyons.
Thanks so much to Joey Cordova for being a super integral part to this year’s Lyons Outdoor Games. He was key in shaping the course to make it the best Outlaws of Dirt BMX/Dirt Jump Comp ever. We really appreciate his attitude, his skills, everything about this man.
By his passion and enthusiasm for the event, you’d think it was Cordova’s first time to ride in Colorful Colorado, but it isn’t – the pro BMX rider actually learned to ride his bike in the Front Range, and this is his 4th time riding in the Lyons Outdoor Games. “The Outdoor Games has a special place in my heart because my family and friends who I grew up with get to come and watch,” Cordova says. “It’s always cool to come back and see people who I know, and catch up with people who I haven’t seen in awhile, and perform in front of the home crowd.”
And, this year is particularly special: “Longmont is very special to me,” says Cordova. “There are still people going through tough times due to the flood, and I hope that the event brings people together and helps the people who are in need. I’m looking forward to doing anything I can to lift their spirits.”
Cordova’s passion for all things biking started early; his father raced motocross, and he was riding bikes by age 3 and competing by 5. Although, it wasn’t until 10 years later, at 15, that he discovered his true passion, dirt jumps and trail riding. At 18, he learned how to back-flip and was hooked after that. “I just love being in the air and being weightless. It feels almost like you are flying. I love everything about it, flowing and feeling like one with your bike.”
Fun dirt jump contests and trail rides are his favorite things to do, which is why he is looking forward to the Lyons Outdoor Games. It’s not high-pressure the way that races are he explains; it’s about how much fun you can have. In particular, he’s looking forward to helping Outlaws of Dirt dial-in the perfect jumps. “I started trail building when I transitioned to dirt jumping and trail riding. It’s become my second passion. It’s such an amazing experience to envision a trail, build it, and then ride it. It’s almost like an artist painting on a canvas .. but then you can ride the course when you are done with it.”
Oh yea, and the man’s a rapper. Check it out:
With generous grants from The Ball Foundation and Alcoa Foundation, one of the CAN’d Aid Foundation’s first initiatives is funding a grant to the Lyons Volunteers to pay for ZeroHero’s efforts to make the Lyons Outdoor Games a zero-waste event. As industry leaders in the craft-can revolution and the first craft brewery to package exclusively in cans, Oskar Blues Brewery knows a little something about aluminum. It makes sense then that their newly created non-profit, CAN’d Aid, would lead the charge to ensure those aluminum vessels are being properly recycled in Oskar’s home town, Lyons, during one of the biggest flood relief fundraisers of 2014.
“We were happy to fund this program and grant equipment to the Town of Lyons, particularly this year when needs are so great,” CAN’d Aid Executive Director Diana Ralston explained. “These recycling tents will be used at everything from small weekly concerts in Sandstone Park to larger events like Diva Dash, making the impact of the overall recycling program much more significant than a one-off event.”
As grant recipients, the Lyons Volunteers will receive custom ZeroHero recycling stations and funds to help implement the recycling program at this year’s Lyons Outdoor Games and Burning CAN festival on May 31st. (Read the rest of the article by clicking here!)
By Amber Shafer
The Lyons Outdoor Games are a great time, but this year is particularly special. It’s been nearly nine months since floods ravaged the small town, but the spirit of the town is anything but dampened. Residents and local businesses alike feel a strong urge to celebrate adventure – after all, what could be more adventurous than not only surviving a flood that none other than the National Weather Service referred to as “biblical,” but rebuilding your beloved town with friends and neighbors and watching some of the world’s finest kayakers paddle those very same waters along the new path forged by the storm itself?!
As we move into final preparation for the Games, we took a few minutes to chat with some of the local business owners around Lyons to get their pulse on the Games and understand how they have been impacted by the floods. When we reflect on these conversations, the word inspiring comes to mind, but the word itself fails to rouse the depth and complexity of the connection forged between the St. Vrain rivers and the Town of Lyons.
Arn Hayden, CEO of Two Rivers Foods, watched as his fledging business was overcome by the storm. The company was literally cut off from its customers as the North and South St. Vrain rivers and main St. Vrain formed a series of small islands around most of Lyons – a devastating event for a young business during its peak season. Unfazed by the once-in-a-millennium storm, the company is hitting the ground running as the flood waters recede and is even launching a new product to round out the year–a cracker snack. When asked about the floods, Arn remarked, “The flood made the townspeople closer to one another and appreciative for what we have. I think everyone is on board to make things better than before.” (Click here to read the full article.)
The Lyons Community Foundation recently donated generously to ensure the Lyons Outdoor Games would be successful.
“This year’s Lyons Outdoor Games is going to be a much bigger and more exciting event because of the huge grant donated by the Lyons Community Foundation,” said Dave Cosgrove, Lyons’ Parks and Recreation director. “We really needed this grant to be able to bring renowned musicians like Anders Osborne to the Games, and just to have the clout to appeal to the other sponsors who came on board. We really appreciate their support!”
In its 13th year, the Lyons Outdoor Games are a huge fundraiser for the Lyons Parks and Recreation department. According to Sandy Banta, the Foundation’s community outreach director, this is one of the main reasons the Foundation has decided to support the event.
“Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people in the greater Lyons area, and our parks are critical to our quality of life,” she explained. “This event will bring people to town not only to see our rebuilding efforts, but also to see the physical beauty of our town.”
Banta added that the recovery process will still take three to five more years. “The Lyons Outdoor Games is the first of many festivals in Lyons this first summer after the flood. It is a huge economic driver for the town. We expect between 3,000 and 4,000 people to be here May 31st for this first event,” she explained. “Thus, we see this as a way to keep money flowing into Lyons by creating awareness of our ongoing recovery process. When people make charitable contributions, we hope they continue to give to Lyons. We want to show them that we are going to be better than ever when our rebuild is complete.”
The Lyons Community Foundation has raised $1.3 million so far for recovery efforts after the massive flooding last fall. The Foundation kicked off a second major fundraising effort on May 22nd in an effort to raise another $1 million dollars.
To read more about the Foundation’s efforts: http://www.cpr.org/news/story/lyons-hopes-raise-another-1-million#sthash.cR2q95TK.dpuf
About the Lyons Community Foundation:
* LCF Mission Statement - The Lyons Community Foundation exists to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving and encourage positive change for the greater Lyons area.
* Lyons Community Foundation was founded in 2007. LCF is a nonprofit fund of The Community Foundation which serves Boulder County.
* The activities of LCF are overseen by an advisory board comprised of volunteers from the Lyons community. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. or Lyons Community Foundation, P.O. Box 546, Lyons, CO 80540.
Want to help raise money for Lyons Parks & Rec and enjoy a special experience at this year’s Lyons Outdoor Games? We’re selling 100 “Friends of Lyons” passes. With this pass, you will have exclusive access to food provided throughout the day by Whole Foods Market, VIP parking, camping, private bathrooms, and access to side stage viewing of the concert so you don’t have to contend with large crowds. Plus, we’re throwing in Burning Can Tickets. Our Friends of Lyons tickets cost $99, and all proceeds will go toward rebuilding Lyons’ parks and trails. Thanks so much for your support! To purchase tickets, click here.
With thousands of pounds of aluminum can waste generated at the Burning Can Beer Festival it’s a boon for the Town of Lyons that we have Lyons Outdoor Games sponsors on board such as Alcoa, the Ball Corporation, and Novelis. These three companies are involved on many levels with the Games, especially in the area of recycling aluminum, and they have been for a few years now. We’d like to express our appreciation to these three companies for all their support.
With this post, we’d like to highlight Novelis’ as one of our top sponsors and a leader in the industry, developing specialized rolled aluminum products. The company is committed to sustainability, hence their involvement with the Lyons Outdoor Games and Oskar Blues’ two Burning Can Beer Festivals, one of which is held in conjunction with the Lyons Outdoor Games. And they recently (in May!) launched the world’s first commercial use of their product evercan™, an independently certified high-recycled content aluminum sheet made of a guaranteed 90% recycled content.
“This introduction marks the commercial availability of the world’s first certified high-recycled content aluminum beverage can,” said Phil Martens, President and Chief Executive Officer for Novelis.
Made of a minimum 90% recycled aluminum, evercan sheet is certified by SCS (Scientific Certification Services), an independent leader in environmental auditing. This product closes the loop between consumer recycling and new cans. Recycling aluminum also saves energy and reduces emissions.
The company’s efforts to increase the recycling of beverage cans is a key component of its strategy to dramatically increase the recycled content of its products across its global operations to 80 percent by 2020. Already the world’s largest recycler of aluminum, Novelis has announced capital investments of approximately $500 million over the last two years that will double its global recycling capacity to 2.1 million metric tons by 2015. Recycling aluminum requires 95 percent less energy, and produces 95 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), than manufacturing primary aluminum.
Novelis, we are proud to call you a Lyons Outdoor Games sponsor.
Rebuilding Lyons Devastated Parks and Streams one festival at a time.
Lyons, CO: The Oskar Blues Lyons Outdoor Games, presented by Kelty & the Lyons Community Foundation—the first of Lyons’ post-flood summer festivals is slated to be both the biggest 2014 fundraiser for the Town’s parks and recreation department and a huge boost to a local economy recently devastated by the 2013 floods. The Games begin Saturday, May 31, at 8a.m., with BMX riding, pro kayaking, and slacklining all day, plus live music starting at 5:15, including headliner Anders Osborne.
“This event embodies exemplar public–private partnerships with the mutual goal of ‘Rebuilding Lyons Strong,’” explained Tamara Vega Haddad, Lyons’ Chamber of Commerce director. “Since the Lyons Outdoor Games makes most of its sponsorship revenue from private businesses and organizations, these partnerships are key to making the event happen. A side effect is that the Games and its partners will be giving Lyons’ businesses a needed financial shot in the arm.”
It’s not only the Town of Lyons and the Games’ sponsors that will benefit, added Dave Cosgrove, Lyons’ parks and recreation director. “So many local, state, and federal agencies have worked day and night to clean up Lyons and get us ready for the spring runoff,” Cosgrove stated. “The spring runoff is the annual highlight for our local kayakers (who started the Games in ’02) and for the Games. No whitewater, no kayaking events. No parks, no parking or camping. So the Town has really hustled recently to ensure Bohn Park and the Black Bear Hole would be ready.”
“This year it has been more important than ever to ensure we have parking and camping available for visitors,” Cosgrove explained. “We are pleased to announce that we can handle full capacity this year, despite flood damage.”
The Games’ biggest 2014 sponsors include Oskar Blues, Kelty, and the Lyons Community Foundation, whose donations totaled nearly $30K. “These sponsors and the participant profits will go back to the Town, which will use the funds to continue to rebuild our parks,” Vega Haddad added. “As well, House Representative Jonathon Singer will be in attendance to give out the Game awards. What a great cycle of partnership and giving!”
Games begin at 8a.m. Music begins at 5:15. Click here for a detailed schedule.
We recently caught up with world-class BMX rider Zak Earley, who will be attending the Lyons Outdoor Games for the first time (thanks to Reeb Bicycles). After traveling around the country in his van for the last several months surfing and riding dirt and BMX bikes, he’s rebooting for a few months in his hometown of Eliot, Maine.
Earley’s passion for motocross and mountain biking started at a young age; he was building jumps by age four with his dad. He still rides motocross as much as he can, but he says, “I’m terrible at it!” However, he happened to be really good at riding BMX bikes. “That sport clicked.”
So he started entering contests and traveling around the country. And eventually he added creating web content to the things he did for his sponsors. He currently runs a website that’s based around “traveling, existing, going for it, and enjoying life.”
Fun dirt jump contests are one of his favorite things to do, which is why he is looking forward to the Lyons Outdoor Games. It’s not about the aggressive competition, he explains; it’s about how much fun you can have. And based on what other athletes have told him, that’s what the Games are all about. “I’m excited about the festivities, and to be immersed in the Colorado culture,” he explains. “The beer, bonfires, and the outdoors… I fell like this will be a really good snapshot of what Colorado is, which is sick. Even just the scenery looks cool from the sky. I’m stoked to see what it’ looks like from the ground.”
And in general, what is Earley grateful for. Life, he says. “My whole thing is going for it, and just saying yes. You don’t have to be a professional athlete of any sort to have the exact same joy that I’m getting. That’s the whole goal. That’s what I like to live for. Go for it!”
The Lyons Outdoor Games will kick off at 8a.m. May 31st with a breakfast in Bohn Park featuring an acoustic set by Damon Wood, a member of Harmonious Junk and the former lead guitarist in James Brown’s touring band (1999-2006). Two Colorado-based companies are sponsoring the breakfast—Organic Valley and A Spice of Life Catering.
According to Wood, he is working for a discounted rate because he wants to support Lyons. “Lyons is a beautiful place full of great folks. I, along with everyone else who saw the horrible flood damage, was deeply troubled and worried about the town, the surrounding areas, and the people. I’m honored to be able to be part of the Outdoor Games and Lyons getting back to business as usual. Props to all the folks who have worked so hard to rebuild. Time to have some fun!”
“We were lucky to land such a well-known and talented musician for our kick-off breakfast,” said Rebecca Louzan, the organizer for the 2014 Games. “His breadth of experience runs the gamut from country blues to intricate finger picking.” Louzan connected with Wood via CR Gruver (of the New Orleans Suspects), the key organizer for Nolarado, a fundraiser New Orleans musicians did for Lyons. (Read the rest of the article by clicking here.)
Clay Wright has attended the Lyons Outdoor Games from the beginning and plans on returning for this special flood recovery year. We recently chatted with him a bit about his involvement with the Games and his life as a professional kayaker with Jackson Kayaks.
Lyons Outdoor Games: Why do you come back to Lyons year after year for the Games?
Clay Wright: Originally I attended because the organizers were friends—I’ve known (local Lyons boater) Scott Young since I was a kid and paddled a lot with Marty Cronin and Matt Booth. I actually hung out in Lyons when the hole was first being considered and before it was such a big town. So I have formed a connection with the town after seeing it, the park, and the event grow over the years. Lyons reminds me of what Boulder felt 20+ years ago.
LOG: What are your goals at the Games?
CW: My goal for the games is to celebrate the resiliency of the Town of Lyons. Having lost my parents house to a flood in ’97, I know what it’s like to feel the river has turned on you. Accepting the benevolence of water and choosing to embrace the power it is capable of even after it has destroyed things you love… it’s a challenge. I’m proud of the organizers for choosing to jump right back into the riverbed and make this event happen and want to be a part of that. (Read the rest of the Q&A by clicking here.)
Kelty, part of American Recreation Products, Joins Lyons Outdoor Games as Presenting Sponsor
After eight years of being involved with the Lyons Outdoor Games in various capacities, Kelty decided to significantly increase their involvement this year and become the presenting sponsor for the event.
“Kelty’s ideals are really in line with those we encourage at the Games. They are all about family, friends, and hanging out in the outdoors,” said Lizzy Scully, Lyons Outdoor Games Marketing Director. “So they are the perfect partner. We are thrilled that they decided to step up and become the 2014 presenting sponsor.” Not only is Kelty donating much needed cash to make this event happen, but attendees will be able to use Kelty tents and chairs placed throughout the event. (Click here to read more).
Please take a minute to check out all the amazing sponsors that made this event happen by clicking over to our Sponsors page. Thanks!
Read more about the Lyons Community Foundation by clicking here.
Plus Size BMX is bringing the Outlaws of Dirt Back to the Lyons Outdoor Games for a third year. And for the second year, the Lyons Outdoor Games is a part of a series of competitions that bring riders from around the world to compete for over $20,000 in cash and prizes. This year’s series is called the 2014 is the KHS Bicycles Outlaws of Dirt fed by Revd. We recently chatted with Founder/Owner/Operator Chris Olivier to find out what both Plus Size BMX and the Outlaws of Dirt are all about. (Stay tuned for profiles on athletes Joey Cordova & Zak Earley to be published over the next weeks).
LOG: What is Plus Size BMX?
CO: Plus Size BMX is a media outlet that covers park, street, and dirt riding, and operates the Outlaws of Dirt, the only BMX and MTB dirt jump series in North America.
LOG: What inspired you to start the business?
CO: I started the company because I didn’t like the exclusive nature of most of the media covering freestyle cycling. I wanted to create a media brand based on inclusion to promote park, street, and dirt riding. Our mission statement is: To promote and instill passion for park, street, and dirt riding on all bikes.
LOG: Why the Outlaws of Dirt?
CO: I created the Outlaws of Dirt to provide a fun event for both amateur and pro competitors to ride together and help push our sport further. Additionally, the goal was to provide a fun, fast-paced experience for our fans. In 2013 we did just that! (Click here to read more.)
Thanks so much to Lyons local Charles Olson for designing this year’s Lyons Outdoor Games poster, banner, and other marketing materials. As well, he updated the LOG logo. Posters will be distributed along the Front Range. We are still looking for people to put posters up in North Boulder and throughout Longmont. Please contact Lizzy Scully by clicking here. Thanks!
According to Lyons Outdoor Games’ organizers, 2014 will be a banner year for the event and the Town of Lyons, with sponsors more committed than ever and numerous world-class athletes attending.
“The outpouring of support from sponsors has been extraordinary, both in the form of monetary and in-kind support, but also in the fact that they are bringing their most accomplished athletes to compete at the Games,” said Parks & Rec Director Dave Cosgrove. “We are really excited about our flagship events—the pro kayaking and the BMX/Dirt Jumps—as well as the newest additions to the Games, including the Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course and the slackline competition.”
According to Jaime Lynn Pletcher, the marketing/events manager for Gibbon Slacklines, “Many of our athletes, staff, families, and friends were affected by the floods, and when we learned the Lyons Outdoor Games was supporting flood relief and particularly park reconstruction we wanted to be involved.” Gibbon is bringing their event to Lyons totally free of charge. (Click here to read more.)