At Beaver Den, a group of Plattsburgh State students have found a haven, an escape from school-related stress. It’s a little spot where they tightly secure their lines between trees, tie their shoelaces and balance their stress away. Today, the same group of people will introduce their world to the rest of the community. For the first time Platty Slack’s annual Spring Slackfest will come to Beaver Den, located between Champlain Valley Hall and Angell College Center.
Slackfest is a way for the organization to promote slackline to the community. The first event was hosted three years ago and was a celebration of Platty Slack, Jenny Horowitz, secretary of the club, said.
“Keagan French started it when he was a junior. And it was a way to celebrate that he finally made something he was passionate about a thing on campus. He wanted to celebrate his stoke for the fest,” she said.
Usually hosted at Hawkins Pond, the members of Platty Slack changed the location of Slackfest to the organization’s favorite spot, unofficially named Beaver Den by the organization’s Vice President Joe Wantuch. Horowitz explained that Wantuch came up with the name for their spot one day during their freshman year when they were hanging out, and has since been used among the club members.
Attendees of Slackfest can expect not only slacklining, but also competitions, barbeque, tie-dyes, T-shirt giveaways, slackline prizes, noodle fights and trickline, the more advanced version of the sport that slackline graduates move on to.
Despite the change of the location, the event is going to be similar to the ones the organization has hosted before, explained Casey Corrigan, treasurer of Slackfest. The only difference is that there will be more slacklines for attendees to try. With the increasing interest and mastery for the sport, it is natural that the fest implements more slacklines in the fest.
Besides having more slacklines, Corrigan explains that the demos preformed will be more advanced. PSUC alumnus Keagan French, now a highline professional and slackline ambassador for Slackline Industries, will be demonstrating different tricks at the event. French will also bring another slackline professional, Heather Larsen, to preform at Beaver Den, which will be in the roped off area to minimize traffic.
“It’s cool this year because it’s going to be right in the center of campus, so pretty much everybody who walks through campus on the daily will see it. They’re almost going to have to stop by. It’s going to be hard to avoid,” Horowitz said.
Although the event is about the sport and can seem to be geared toward sport fanatics, Kevin McAvey, the club’s public relations manager, said the event is for everyone, from the advanced slackliners to the young children who have never tried the sport before.
Corrigan explained that there are different types of slacklines available at the event, some of which inexperienced young slackliners can walk on.
“It really isn’t that dangerous when you’re just trying to walk on it. You don’t see many falls when people are just walking on it. Generally, we don’t put 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds up unless their parents think they’re ready. It’s all up to the parents who are there. It’s not a day care type of thing. The kids can’t be completely alone at the college kids’ mercy,” Corrigan said.
“It’s an extreme sport without the extreme risk,” McAvey added.
Slackfest will be held between Champlain Valley Hall and the Angell College Center today, between 3 and 7 p.m.
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