Wildlife Expo set for weekend

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Outdoors enthusiasts from across the region will have a shot at entertainment, education and new products as the Lincoln County Wildlife Expo hits town this weekend.

     “People come from all over Southwest Mississippi and some in Louisiana,” said Quinn Jordan, director of the Lincoln Civic Center.

     There are usually 2,500 to 3,000 people in attendance, said Jordan, who has been managing the expo about five years.

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     The expo is Friday from 5 until 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 7 to 13. Children 6 and under are free.

     In addition to more than 60 individual vendors with booths, repeat crowds can expect plenty of new attractions this year, Jordan said.

     Burt Fleming of WoodBCreations will be onsite carving figures from woodblocks with a chainsaw. Archery shooting at the expo has also been expanded and will feature pop-up targets this year.

     The 3D pop-up archery will be open to anyone for a small fee, but participants can win cash prizes. Proceeds will benefit Woods, Wheels and Water Outdoors, an organization that provides hunting trips for disabled and terminally ill hunters.

     Other new events will target a younger demographic.

     The Southwest Gun Club will be hosting free pellet gun shooting for children of all ages and skill levels. The club will provide instruction in gun safety and handling.

     An Ag in the Outdoors booth, manned by agriculture teachers from Lincoln County, will also provide entertainment and education at no cost to kids.

     “It will teach them about area animals and expose them to the outdoors,” Jordan said.

     For $5 per child, there will also be a Kid’s Plot providing inflatable jumps, slides and a rock wall.

     Jordan also promised door prizes and a silent auction benefiting Catch-A-Dream, which provides hunting and fishing trips for children with life-threatening illness.

     Attendance at the expo has more than doubled since he’s been in charge, Jordan said, and he hopes to see the trend continues.

     He doesn’t do it alone, though.

     “Without my volunteers and sponsors, this event would never go off,” Jordan said.

     Jordan said 90 percent of volunteers are students from local schools looking for volunteer hours. There are about 40 volunteers, 10 present at all times.