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Wildlife expo celebrates the outdoors

It’s an outdoorsman’s paradise in Lincoln County this weekend.

The 2017 Lincoln County Wildlife and Outdoor Expo kicks off with a banquet dinner on Thursday at the Brookhaven Building and will continue through Saturday with an expo at the Lincoln Civic Center.

Preston Pittman will be the guest speaker at the dinner.

“He’s known as Mr. Gobbler himself,” said Lincoln Civic Center Facility Director Quinn Jordan. “He’s widely known in the turkey industry. He’s going to be at the dinner and he’ll also be at the expo Friday and Saturday with his own booth.”

The banquet dinner is a new addition this year.

“We partnered with the Quality Deer Management Association to have a kick-off dinner to start the weekend,” said Jordan. “During the dinner, there will be two auctions going on, a silent auction and a live auction.”

All proceeds from the silent auction go toward the annual handicap hunt. The civic center sponsors someone who is handicapped to go on a hunt of a lifetime.

The money raised in the live auction will go toward the QDMA. According to Quinn, the QDMA invests a large majority of its money back into Lincoln County for deer hunting.

There will also be opportunities to buy raffle tickets to win smaller items.

Pittman will be signing autographs for fans and selling his own turkey calls at the expo.

“It’s going to be a fun night,” Jordan said. “Diamond J Meat Market is providing the food. Tickets and sponsors are still available for the banquet.”

The dinner starts at 6 p.m. in the Brookhaven Building. For more information on tickets or sponsorships, contact Bruce Gray at 601-754-5592.

On Friday, the expo begins at 5 p.m. and will last until 9 p.m. On Saturday, the event is all day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Several new activities are in the works.

“We’re going to have a splash dog competition. This an opportunity for people to watch duck dogs and retrievers jump off of a platform into a pool of water to retrieve a duck dummy,” Jordan said. “We just started having a pig chasing competition last year, but that’s always entertaining.”

There are 42 booths inside the building and 25 outside.

Admission is $6 for 13 and up, $5 for 7 to 12 and free for 6 and under.

Activities are free. Concessions and services are available for sale.

“We’re going to have an Archery in Mississippi Schools Program bow exhibition that will give kids an opportunity to shoot a bow for the first time,” he said.

A hand-grabbing tank will make a return appearance as well. Hand grabbing, Jordan explained, is catching catfish by hand.

The expo promises something for everyone, he said.

“Anyone that likes to be outdoors, this is an opportunity for the family to come out and have a good time. We will have ladies’ booths, campers, fishing boats and four wheelers. We have four different food vendors, outdoor apparel, truck accessories, the list goes on,” said Jordan. “We’re dialed into what people want. This is the nicest family-oriented show that I know of in the area.”

All booths will have an outdoor theme and they’ll run the gamut from entertainment to education.