Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Different kind of show on tap

Different kind of show on tap
Sunday, June 17, 2007


For The Patriot-News

The most innovative, family-oriented, hands-on outdoor show in Pennsylvania is set to run Friday through next Sunday at the Kempton Fairgrounds in northern Berks County. Created last year to fill the void created by the collapse of the Lehigh Valley Outdoor Expo, the Lehigh Valley Hunting & Fishing Extravaganza has nearly doubled in size.

Organized by a taxidermist and the owner of an archery shop -- both local men -- with the help of a growing collaboration of local individuals and outdoor organizations, rather than an out-of-area professional show promoter, the extravaganza focuses much more on the experience of the visitor. No other show offers as many hands-on activities geared to kids and adults. This has everything a regular sports show has -- new products, sales of outdoor gear, outfitters, manufacturers with their new products and a heck of a lot more -- even an outdoor flea market," said show co-director Bob Danenhower, owner of Bob's Wildlife Taxidermy in Orefield. "It's focused on both kids and adults. It really is a family affair."

Another great unshowlike feature of the extravaganza is its outdoor component.

Visitors can spend the day wandering the fairground, stopping by booths, demonstrations, displays, seminars and other attractions set up inside two large halls, under the roofed picnic pavilion and beneath the open sky. The show also includes an outdoor primitive encampment by the Pennsylvania Federation of Black Powder Shooters; a 50-target 3-D archery course through woodland, hillside and field; a running deer challenge; a 10-station, 50-target sporting clays shoot; and a natural stream trout-fishing area.

Then there's the family and "troop" experience of the show, with adults from regional and statewide sportsmen's groups volunteering as youth mentors for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other youngsters. The 2007 Scout Challenge will feature a 10-station competition scattered across the fairgrounds to test youngsters' talents in BB-gun marksmanship, tomahawk tossing, casting accuracy, knot tying and other events.

Dog demonstrations will be offered throughout the weekend by groups enthusiastic about beagles, German short-haired pointers, retrievers, performing dogs and seeing-eye dogs.

Mr., Miss and Junior Lehigh Valley Outdoorsman competitions will run Saturday, featuring events such as shooting, deer dragging and slimy fish-throwing. Another big draw will be the Pennsylvania Big Buck Display, featuring a 2006 Lehigh County 16-point whitetail and several bucks that scored better than 130 Boone & Crockett or Pope & Young.

The Kempton Fairgrounds are located off Rt. 737, five miles north of Exit 40 (Krumsville) off I-78. Show hours are noon-8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for youth ages 8-12, and free to youth under age 8 and Scouts and Scout leaders in uniform.

For more information, call (610) 398-7609 or visit www.lvhfe.com
MARCUS SCHNECK: 610-562-1884 or mschneck@comcast.net