Sport and Recreation Show opens here FridayDisplays of RVs, boats, ATVs, and more are set to take over the Jamestown Civic Center this weekend for the annual Sport and Recreation Show. Vendors from Bismarck to Rapid City, S.D., will showcase their products as part of the expo set to begin at 4 p.m. Friday. The three-day event, which is free to the public, is being coordinated by Jamestown radio outlet KQDJ on behalf of Valley City’s Ingstad Family Media.
By: By Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Displays of RVs, boats, ATVs, and more are set to take over the Jamestown Civic Center this weekend for the annual Sport and Recreation Show.
Vendors from Bismarck to Rapid City, S.D., will showcase their products as part of the expo set to begin at 4 p.m. Friday. The three-day event, which is free to the public, is being coordinated by Jamestown radio outlet KQDJ on behalf of Valley City’s Ingstad Family Media.
“Last year’s expo was very successful so we’re hoping for much of the same this year,” said Lynn Lambrecht, sales manager at Ingstad.
The lower level of the Civic Center, where the largest displays are held, will showcase local businesses including Gun & Reel Sports, Grabinger’s Marine, Countryside RV, Outlet Recreation, J & K Marine and Redlin Johnson. There, spectators and customers can peruse a variety of options with boats, ranging from cabin cruisers to pontoons, as well as RVs of several sizes. It will also feature power sports equipment such as ATVs and jet skis.
The upper level concourse will include 29 displays over the span of 38 sections within the arena, highlighted by a popular attraction from last year’s show, the Black Hills Raptor Center’s wildlife exhibit. Local departments such as the Jamestown Rural Fire Department and Stutsman County Wildlife Federation will be represented there.
United Sportsmen’s Jamestown chapter will have an exhibit on the upper level and Chairman Merle Weathlerly said he is anxious to get the public out and expose potential customers to a wide variety of recreational equipment.
“It’s great for United Sportsmen to talk to some locals and attract people to our organization, but really just great in general to have people taking a look at so many great parts of the environment and outdoor recreation,” he said.
Gun & Reel Sports is co-sponsoring the Raptor Center’s wildlife show and co-owner Gary Docktor is excited about the opportunity to bring attention to a wide variety of outdoor and recreational products.
“We have many things for our customers all over the area to see, so displaying a number of our products under one roof is a great benefit to the whole community,” Docktor said.
Grabinger’s Marine, another sponsor of the Raptor exhibit, has participated in the show since its inception, with John Grabinger, president and owner, calling it the “premiere event of the year.”
He said the expo allows his business and others in Jamestown to compete with their neighbors in Bismarck and Fargo.
“We don’t have a huge volume of people in this community, yet very year I’m impressed with how they put together a very good show and are to connect with the locals,” he said.
Jeff Nelson, owner and operator of Countryside RV, sees the event as a chance to bring outsiders into town and show them what his business and others have to offer.
“Especially for us, as we expect to see an early spring and an extended summer, we hope for a lot of people to come out and get excited about camping and enjoying the weather,” he said.
He added, “Overall, it’s just great having everyone coming together at a show like this under one roof and indoors.”
Lambrecht said she hopes to build on the success of last year’s show. She attributed some of the enthusiasm about the expo to the popularity of the Black Hills’ exhibit showcasing wildlife education using birds of prey in addition to reptiles.
“One of the biggest hits last year was the Black Hills raptors, especially with the young kids who were able to physically touch the birds and wildlife as well,” she said.
The Raptor Center in Rapid City, S.D., was co-founded by John Halverson 18 months ago. Halverson said he firmly believed the 2011 Sports and Recreation Show was a turning point for their organization.
“We had an overwhelming reception in Jamestown, ranging from young kids to senior citizens, and that really exhilarated our whole organization,” he said.
The Sport and Recreation show takes place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The raptor shows inside the expo are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday in addition to 2 p.m. Sunday.
For more information on the event, call Lynn Lambrecht at 701-252-1400.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by email at email@example.com