Lane Giesler, owner of Arctic Motor Sports, and Clint Goodfellow are reflected Friday in a motorcycle's mirror as they discuss all-terrain vehicles at the sports and recreation trade show under way at the Soldotna Sports Center.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The 22nd annual Sport, Rec and Trade Show at the Soldotna Sports Center is for anyone who takes recreation seriously.
Today is the last day for fisherman, hunters and outdoor enthusiast to peruse the wares of the more than 50 vendors providing information and selling products related to a rich recreational lifestyle.
But not all of these vendors were selling fishing rods, four-wheelers and other items used for fun in the outdoors. Some were selling items for the not-so-fun times, such as when things go wrong in the outdoors.
“This can save people in an emergency,” said Lynn Reid, who was selling Self-Fusing Silicone Rescue Tape, which is waterproof, airtight, insulates to 8,000 volts, has a strength of 700 psi and can even withstand temperatures from minus 40 up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
“When you live far from the nearest hardware store, like many people here in Alaska, it’s a must-have item. It can be used to patch a radiator hose, insulate jumper cables, waterproof a trailer hitch connection plug. It’s phenomenal,” she said.
Reid, who lives in Illinois, said she makes the trip north to take part in the sport show.
“We love Alaska and this show is always wonderful for us, so we come every year,” she said.
This year’s show also features several items for coming home after a long weekend in the outdoors. There were numerous paintings for sale, depicting scenes of adventure in every season. There were saunas and hot tubs to soak after a long weekend. Ray Frank of Quartz Creek Enterprises Ninilchik was selling items to hang your hat and coat on after a long day outdoors.
“I sell custom-made coat racks, welcome signs and weather vanes -- all with an outdoor theme,” he said, pointing to items depicting scenes of moose, salmon and teams of sled dogs.
“They’re all made of steel so they won’t bend like some of the ‘made in China’ coat racks, and they all have a powder-coated finish, so they’re super tough and resistant to the elements,” he said.
While numerous vendors were looking to make a buck, some booths were occupied by organizations looking to bolster their numbers and inform the public about their mission.
“We have a core group of members, but this is a good way to reach other people interested in the outdoors who may not know what we’re about. We’ve already signed up 25 new members,” said Josselyn O’Connor of the Kenai Watershed Forum.
O’Connor said the show also is a great place to keep the public informed about several outdoor issues and conservation-conscious agendas.
“We’re trying to get the word out about our restoration programs, educational outreach projects and the motor buy-back program,” she said.
Many in attendance said this year’s show was, as usual, a great way to spend the day and a couple of greenbacks.
“For four bucks, I get to spend the day here walking around and talking about the outdoors with like-minded people. It really gets me in the mood to get off my butt and start doing things outdoors again,” said Larry Fitzgerald of Soldotna.
John Lattis of Kenai said attending the show is a great way to get out of a few chores.
“I’m really into seeing all the new gear and all, but being here is saving me from spring cleaning with my wife,” he said.
The Sports, Rec and Trade Show continues today at the Soldotna Sports Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for children and seniors, and free for kids under 10.
Joseph Robertia can be reached at email@example.com.
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