Why are 8,000 people sliding and swinging into New Orleans?

NEW ORLEANS - If you count them, there are 8,000 of them.

They are people who run public parks and playgrounds across America.  They are "camped out"  in New Orleans from September 26 through September 28.

That's three days worth of "camping".

WGNO News with a Twist features guy Wild Bill Wood discovers the "camping" is actually "attending" their convention.

It's the National Recreation and Park Association. The NRPA.

They are in New Orleans to talk about their favorite subjects.  That's parks, playgrounds, recreation programs.  They'll get to see more than 500 exhibits of the latest and greatest when it comes to equipment for parks, playgrounds, recreation programs.

They'll also get to listen to the experts in those fields.  More than 200 educators will talk the talk.  After all this,  the park people  go back to their parks across America and put what they've learned to good use.

The organization is NRPA.  Again, that's the National Recreation and Park Association.

It's a non-profit.

The purpose of the NRPA is to make public parks better places.  The NRPA also wants to make recreation in those parks better, safer, more fun for kids of all ages.

And there's conservation as a part of NRPA's mission as well.  There will be plenty of talk about how to keep the planet clean.

The National Recreation and Park Association has 60,000 members who work every day to make all the parts of the mission a reality.

New Orleans has been home for their convention before.

In fact, this year is the second time the National Recreation and Park Association Convention has been in New Orleans.

People who make a living figuring out just what conventions like this mean to the city, figure this one brings in nearly $9 million.