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Friday, January 25, 2013

Sports shows offer outdoor folks reprieve from winter blahs

        Winter has already been colder, snowier and nastier than all of last year, yet there probably is nearly two months of disagreeable weather ahead.
Sure you can work on organizing your tackle boxes (doesn’t everyone have more than one?}, or read a good book while the snow and wind blow outdoors. Football season is over, so what’s to do? Outdoor sports shows can provide and escape for a few of those days, and be a nice winter break.
Shows also are a good place to plan trips, learn about the latest equipment whether fishing tackle, a boat or a recreational vehicle. Information these days is readily available on the web for computer users, but there is nothing like talking to folks face-to-face about their resort, area, RVs, boats, or other outdoor gear. You can see it and touch up, and probably try it up close and personal.
The 2013 Louisville Boat, RV and Sports Show starts Wednesday of this week and runs through the weekend. More than 100,000 square feet have been added for this year’s show at the state fairgrounds in Louisville in the South Wing and East Hall.
According to a new release from the Louisville Show, now sponsored by Progressive insurance, ”When not shopping, visitors to the show can experience the benefits of the outdoors through a variety of new education and entertainment, including the new Paddle Sports Demo & Try-It Pool, a chance to meet the famous R.J and Jay Paul Molinere of ‘Swamp People,’ and Ron and Amy Shirley of ‘Lizard Lick Towing.’ Visitors also can  take a moment to sit and watch performances on the all-new Trampoline Wall, sharpen hunting and fishing skills at daily seminars, and much more.”
The show opens Wednesday at 5 p.m., and will operate Thursday and Friday from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, it will open at 10 a.m. 
The cost of the show is $10 for adults and youngsters 15 and under are free.
Next month, the big Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show is slated for the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. It will be the 59th year for the show that covers more than 650,000 square feet in six buildings at the facility. It’s a long trek to Indianapolis, but if you love the outdoors, the show is worth the time and effort.
  Acres of boats, RV’s, fishing tackle and hunting gear, outdoor destinations, paddle sports equipment, educational seminars, outdoor celebrities and unique and entertaining attractions combine to form a veritable outdoor supernova, which is difficult to be fully experienced in a single visit.  
When I lived closer, I usually tried to schedule several days. Mid-week visiting is good when possible as crowds are smaller.
The Indy show is scheduled Feb. 15-24. It opens at 10 a.m. on weekends, and at 1 p.m. on Monday. Other weekdays, the doors open at 3 p.m.
Scout Day is slated for Feb. 18. All Scouts in uniform  can climb the rock wall for free as well as fish in the trout pond at no cost.
The fourth annual Quiet Sports Expo also will be part of the sports show. According to information provided by Josh Lantz, “Human-powered adventure activities like, hiking, paddling, mountain biking, rock- 
climbing and fly fishing may leave a small ecological footprint, but are as hard-core as the ever- growing number of enthusiasts who practice them.  
“Sometimes referred to as the quiet sports, these activities are some of the fastest-growing outdoor recreational pursuits.  And in this case, quiet certainly doesn't mean dull or mundane.  
“Let's face it.  Indiana may not be the extreme, eco-adventure capitol of the world, but the Quiet Sports Expo is geared up to alter that perception.  How?  By offering existing and would- be quiet sports devotees an unequaled opportunity to see the latest, cutting edge quiet sports gear and learn from some of the best and most experienced adventure paddlers, backpackers, 
mountaineers and other quiet sports moguls in the world.”  
Both the Louisville and Indy shows offer visitors a chance to escape the blahs of winter and look to a year of outdoor fun.

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