Quiet Water Symposium Set for March 3 at MSU Pavilion
Above: exhibits from the 2015 Quiet Water Symposium
On Saturday, March 3, the 23rd annual Quiet Water Symposium will take place at the Michigan State University Pavilion. The Symposium, which runs from 9:00am to 5:30pm, will highlight non-motorized water sports and other outdoor recreation.
The offerings will include both seminars and an exhibition hall with vendors and outfitters. The focus of this year’s event, which is expected to bring in more than 3,000 people, is safety. Experts will discuss safety in non-motorized sports activities through demonstrations, exhibitions, and interactive displays.
According to Allen Deming, one of the Symposium’s organizers, the value of non-motorized water sports is about much more than noise levels. “Non-motorized sports put the participant in a much closer relationship with environment. The touch, sounds, smells and sights, even the tastes of their experience are magnified in ways that cannot be experienced when blasting past at 50 miles an hour,” said Deming, owner of Mackinaw Watercraft. “We believe that the education that this experience provides will lead to a far greater willingness to actively conserve our natural resources, and the desire to share these experiences with future generations.”
The emphasis on safety this year is also important in educating newcomers to outdoor sports. “Vast improvements in outdoor gear and reductions in prices have put the far outdoors within the reach of many that just don't have the knowledge and skills to safely do the things that they are attempting,” Deming said. “The Quiet Water Society is bound to do its part in educating the public so that as they enter the outdoors, they do it safely.”
Deming started attending the Symposium as an admission-paying guest. Retirement led him to building wooden boats, which he eventually exhibited at the symposium. “After that first year exhibiting I joined the Quiet Water Society and began to lend the many skills that I had learned in a long and successful career in corporate America,” he said. “I have served as the Event Awareness Coordinator for over 10 years and have been Show Chairman and Vice President of the Quiet Water Society.”
Deming credits the Symposium's years of success to the work of many unpaid volunteers. “[W]e have an excellent and dedicated core of volunteers that put together this symposium. These volunteers are passionate about these sports and the conservation of the natural environment in which they take place.”
Other positives, according to Deming, include both an unmet need in educating the outdoor community and just how enjoyable the event can be. “This event is just plain fun. Getting together with friendly and knowledgeable folk who are of like minds is a fantastic recipe for a great and memorable experience,” he said.
Deming, along with the Quiet Water Society, expects this to be its most successful and best attended year to date. “Our slate of speakers, exhibitors and demonstrators are the best that we have ever had,” Deming said. “Introducing more of our guests to more of Michigan, the Great Lakes and the world from the outdoors perspective will mean that we have succeeded in our mission.”
The Quiet Water Symposium takes place on Saturday, March 3rd from 9:00am to 5:30pm at the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education located at 4301 Farm Lane. Admission is $10, students with ID for $5, and children 12 and under are free. For more information, visit the Quiet Water Society’s website here.