UPDATE: Due to weather, this event has been rescheduled to Aug. 31.
Gahanna's Parks and Recreation Department invites residents to explore the Great Outdoors, an annual event to help celebrate July as National Park and Recreation Month.
The free summer parks and recreation party, featuring live music, kayaking and canoeing on Big Walnut Creek, and interactive games, will take place from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 20, at Friendship Park, 150 Oklahoma Ave.
"Friendship Park is a great place for family and friends to come together and enjoy our annual Great Outdoors event," said Alan Little, parks and facilities superintendent. "This is a great event for kids and adults to be active, play outside and enjoy all the beautiful amenities this park has to offer."
Event participants also can enjoy inflatables and a campfire with s'mores, and food trucks will sell refreshments.
At dusk, "Cinema under the Stars" will begin, featuring the movie, "Coco."
This year's National Recreation and Park Association's theme, "A Lifetime of Discovery," encourages individuals to explore the undiscovered roles of local parks and recreation organizations. This includes science, technology, engineering and math programming, senior programs, health and wellness opportunities, community celebrations and outdoor education opportunities.
In addition to the NRPA campaign and Great Outdoors event, Gahanna Parks and Recreation is partnering this month with Franklin County Public Health on a new initiative to encourage people in discovering local parks while being active and enjoying the outdoors.
"We're very excited about our new partnership with Franklin County Public Health," said Jeff Barr, Gahanna Parks and Recreation director. "The opportunity to work with them helps us further promote the symbiotic relationship between mental and physical health in our parks.
"Visiting parks not only allows adults and kids to explore nature, but offers a variety of activities that stimulate the mind, body and spirit," Barr said.
Through October, individuals can visit each of the participating parks listed on a passport to gather code words displayed on information stands as part of the Passport2Exploration program.
Participants should write the code under the matching park on their passport, with the codes eventually forming a sentence.
Once participants complete the passport and a short survey, they can visit Gahanna City Hall, 200 S. Hamilton Road, to receive a prize.
Participants can download the passport online at http://bit.ly/passport2exploration.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to post photos of the Gahanna parks they visit on social media using hashtags #DiscoverJuly, #DiscoverGahannaParks or #Passport2Exploration.
For more information about the Great Outdoors event or National Park and Recreation Month, visit www.gahanna.gov.
For details about Passport2Exploration, visit Franklin County Public Health at http://bit.ly/passport2exploration.