There are boat shows. There are hunting shows. There are fishing shows. There are outdoor shows. And then there’s the All-American Outdoor Expo.
The first Dayton All-American Outdoor Expo runs Friday through Sunday at the Airport Expo Center in Vandalia and promoter Rob Lynch says it will be unlike any outdoor show anyone has ever seen.
“Traditionally when people think about shows they think boating, fishing or hunting, but this show will be so much more than those things,” said Lynch. “It is family-oriented. There are so many hands-on things for kids and adults.”
Some of the hands-on items for kids include: a fishing pond (you can keep the fish), a petting zoo, paddle sports, a “beach” where kids can play in the sand and a kids archery range. There will also be fishing seminars for kids, a specialty of Dan Armitage, an outdoor writer and broadcaster, host of the syndicated radio show Buckeye Sportsman, from the Columbus area.
“Kids will learn how to use a water bottle to make a fishing rig, cast a cane pole, bait a hook with live worms and minnows and maybe even see how to catch a fish using bubble gum,” Armitage said.
“We want to make the show a good place to introduce kids to the outdoors,” Lynch said.
Adults will have plenty of hands-on opportunities, too, including paddling, archery and a fishing simulator.
Pro bass fisherman Joe Thomas of Cincinnati will lead the fishing seminars with popular hunting expert Bill Epeards talking bow hunting for deer and turkey hunting. There will also be seminars on hiking, backpacking, bow fishing, musky fishing, frogging and several other topics. For a list of seminar times, visit allamericanoutdoorexpo.com.
There will also be an area for seminars about firearms for personal protection and hunting. Several legal issues involving firearm ownership will also be discussed.
In addition to the seminar schedule, several demonstrations are planned, including dog training, back-country and Dutch oven cooking and a one-of-a-kind falconry program.
Greenville’s Tom Petkewitz will have his antique lure display and will be signing his new book, From Outdoors Past. He’ll also appraise any old lures or other outdoor memorabilia brought in.
Lynch said there will be seven boat dealers and three RV dealers with a variety of models on hand. Other dealers will feature fishing tackle, fishing charters, ATVs, motorcycles, backyard play equipment, kayaks and canoes, grills, hunting accessories and travel destinations.
“We have 80 exhibitors and everyone is enthusiastic about the show. We are offering all aspects of activities in the outdoors, so we think it will be a lot of fun,” Lynch said.