UCCU Center hosts The Big Outdoor Expo

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When RV’s fill up the UCCU parking lot and handfuls of camp chairs line the sidewalks, that can only mean one thing… The Big Outdoor Expo has come to campus.

The UCCU Center hosted The Big Outdoor Expo Friday and Saturday March 10-11. This get-together for local businesses and outdoor lovers had everything from cooking spices to defense devices for anyone to indulge.

“The expo has a good variety of booths from clothing to tents to ATVs,” said Lincoln Op’t Hof, journalism junior. “The UCCU center is a great place to hold the expo because it is a big open area that can a lot of the booths.”

Healths Blends is a local company that sells all natural spices to use on pretty much any type of food. Mark Heath was a chef for three years prior to creating the company. While pursuing a career as a chef, he realized that he had a passion for spices, so he started to experiment.

“They are simply stronger than most spices… some of have at least 9 flavors in one spice and have taken years to complete,” said Dan Health, employee of Heaths Blends. “Marks masterpiece, which is my favorite spice, took 7 years to make.”

This was Health Blends first year at the expo and they were excited about the opportunity to meet community members and share their spices with them. Along with Heaths Blends, other local companies like Jake’s Archery were also excited to meet community members, according to Justin Bass, an employee of Jake’s Archery and lifelong archery enthusiast.

Brandon Manship, COO of Ohblay.com, was at the expo for the first time. According to Manship, he brought his company to the expo in order to “inform adventure seekers about [this] website that will help you plan outdoor activities wherever you are.” It was Manships first year at the expo and he was really excited about the opportunity to get the word out about his company.

The expo had no shortages of exciting things to discover. Scales and Tails Utah brought some of their most exotic reptiles to showcase: like a blood python and a cuban rock iguana.

Next to the reptiles, was Damsel in Defense, a company that sells taser guns, pocket knives and other forms of self protection. This company, based out of Idaho, is all about informing and helping kids, teenagers and women stay safe. Gail Bender and Lisa Johnson, employees of Damsel in Defense, expressed the importance of being able to defend oneself.

“More people need to take their personal safety more seriously,” said Johnson. “The expo allows us to get the word out.”

PC: Mykah Heaton

PC: Mykah Heaton