The City of Wichita Park & Recreation department is hosting the upcoming North American Open Masters Tree Climbing Championship. The competition - featuring climbers from Barbados, Sweden, Estonia, England, Canada and the United States - starts 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29 and runs through 2 p.m. Sunday Oct. 1 at Oak Park, 1100 W. 11th St. N.
Three of the 37 climbers are from Wichita. They are competing to showcase their skills and knowledge in advanced arboricultural techniques. Friday's main event will include intense head-to-head races to the top of a tree while being surrounded by a laser light show; Saturday's events include two master level challenges - a throw-line challenge followed by an aerial rescue challenge; and Sunday is the highlight event - the master's challenge, a match-up between the top-five scoring climbers to determine the best of the best.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, a local disc jockey will accompany events; activities for youth will be offered along with food trucks. Spectators should bring lawn chairs and enjoy the weekend in Oak Park. Competition hours follow: Friday, September 29, 3 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, September 30, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, October 1, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Oak Park is a beautiful, naturally wooded area with delightful landscaping. Besides wooded areas, it contains long open stretches of lawn, lily pond, artificial springs and brooks, stone-curbed drives and inviting paths. This park has been designated a Wichita Wild habitat area: https://www.wichita.gov/ParkandRec/CityParks/Pages/Oak.aspx
During the competition, 11th street will be closed to thru traffic from Oak Park Dr. to Forest St. Motorists will be encouraged to use Oak Park Dr. as a detour around the closure.