A taste of outdoor life: Delaware Expo returns to Harrington Saturday

Delaware Paddlesports is just one of the close to 50 exhibitors that will be participating in the Delaware Outdoor Expo on Saturday. (Delaware State News file photos)

HARRINGTON — Residents of Delaware got to enjoy a couple of 70-degree plus days in February before a pair of March nor’easters reminded them that it’s not quite springtime yet.

It’s those scattered warm and hopeful days that make outdoorsmen and women yearn for activities such as fishing, camping, boating and other pursuits.

They’ll get a chance to revisit those warmer outdoors days at the second annual Delaware Outdoor Expo, presented by the Delaware State News, at the Delaware State Fairgrounds on Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

There will be close to 50 exhibitors on hand inside the Dover Building at the Delaware Outdoor Expo, showing off the newest in gear and information whether a person enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking or camping.

The adjacent Kent Arena will be the showplace for boats and recreational vehicles, as well as a children’s activity area.

Barbara Anne Jones, the events coordinator for the Delaware State News, is looking to build on last year’s successful expo.

“It was great,” Ms. Jones said, of last year’s debut event. “We had a little over 2,500 people there and we had tons of vendors with an indoor building and an outdoor building.

Expo attendees will be treated to a demonstration of “12 Keys to Dog Training” by Eugenia Thornton and her award-winning dog Dolly.

“I think we had a lot of fishing focus last year, so I think this year we’ve mixed it up a little bit more, which is really good and will give people different stuff to look at and see.”

Those interested in the outdoors expo can get more information, event updates and tickets at www.DelawareOutdoorExpo.com. Tickets are $5 each and children 12 and under are admitted free.

The wide-array of exhibitors will have giveaway items and information to share, plus they will each be providing a door prize including gift cards, apparel, hunting and fishing supplies, and a camping stay at one of the Delaware State Parks.

The Sharptown Maryland Lions Club will also be offering raffle tickets to win a Polaris ATV.

Ms. Jones said she thinks this year’s expo will be better than the inaugural one because of valuable lessons learned.

“We still have some really cool demonstrations scheduled for this year and we’re trying to make sure people stay for those,” she said. “We set up the stage differently so that people can move to the west end of the building and kind of relax and bring some food in from outside.”

Some lucky Delaware Outdoor Expo attendee will win a camping stay in the cabins at one of the Delaware State Parks.

Saturday’s schedule will include demonstrations on several different topics, ranging from dog training by Eugenia Thornton and her award-winning dog Dolly, to turkey calling and hunting by Charles Messina of Competition Game Calls.

Rich King from delaware-surf-fishing.com will also be on hand to swap stories and share his expertise on Delaware surf fishing. He is a local surf fishing expert, social media celebrity and Outdoors columnist for the Delaware State News.

Before the inaugural Delaware Outdoor Expo last year, Mr. King said that it’s easy to see people are itching to get back outdoors. It’s the same scenario this year.

“Everybody has been on edge to get outside,” Mr. King said last March. “The February spring weather that we got didn’t help out any.

“The Delaware Outdoor Expo should be fun. I enjoy watching the presentations and look forward to seeing everybody there.”

New at this year’s expo will be an area in the Kent Arena for children’s activities and games. It will be sponsored by the Delaware Solid Waste Authority.

The First State Animal Center and SPCA will also be on hand at the kids’ exhibit.

“This year we have some children’s activities and stuff planned for out there (Kent Arena) and we’ll also have our food court area for the food trucks,” Ms. Jones said. “DSWA is sponsoring the children’s activities and that’s something new so that will bring some different people out. I think it will be fun.”

Dee Lucas, from Camden-Wyoming, said she had plenty of fun while leaving last year’s expo.

Ms. Lucas said that naturally she saw lots of hunters decked out in camouflage, it was an outdoor event after all, but there were also lots of families who came to spend the day together.

“They have free things that they’re giving out and you can buy tickets to possibly win something and they have demonstrations,” she said. “It’s a myriad of all different things that you can do and it’s good for all ages.”

Facebook Comment