Peninsula sports show kicks off today

Posted: Friday, May 02, 2003

Now that spring weather is inviting Alaskans outdoors, what better way to kick off the adventure than by attending the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec and Trade Show this weekend at the Soldotna Sports Center.

Sports gear from clothing to boats and recreational vehicles, as well as information on most summer sports, will be available from 3 to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the center on Kalifornsky Beach Road.

"We absolutely love the Kenai Peninsula, and each year the show gets a little bigger and a little better," said show promoter Terry Coval of Peninsula Marketing.

A trout pond sponsored by the Kenai River Sport Fishing Association and run by the Arctic Young Marines and a virtual reality fishing machine are among show favorites that will be back this year, according to Coval.

Other popular attractions at the sport show will be the Alaska Department of Fish and Game big-game dart simulator, which serves as part of the state hunter education program, and a bear bait clinic this evening from 6 to 9.

Coval said the clinic, which is required for bear hunters, is the last one that will be offered this season.

Bear-safety expert Mark Matheny will offer a seminar on being safe in bear country and how to survive a bear attack. Matheny is a bear-attack survivor and founder of UDAP Industries, manufacturer of Pepper Power, a bear deterrent. The pepper spray will be available for purchase at the show.

Another popular show attraction is a predator-calling demonstration by Gary "Slammin" Hull, of Slammin Salmon and Far North Outfitters. Hull calls in wolf, coyote, cougar, bobcat, lynx and even grizzly bears.

The sport show also will feature a series of seminars by Steve McVeigh of Greatland Kennels in Wasilla on training dogs from puppy to hunter.

Coval said this year's show will feature more motor homes than ever with popular pop-up campers inside the sport center and other camping vehicles out in the parking lot.

Exhibitors also include lodges, outfitters, clothing stores, fishing tackle shops, charter companies and tourist and visitor service organizations.

Visitors to the show will be eligible to enter a prize drawing for a fly and fishing trip with Natron Air or $200 cash. They also can enter for a chance to win a 24-foot travel trailer, which will be given away at the end of the summer by K-WAVE, KPEN, K-BAY radio and A&M RV Center, Coval said.

Admission to the sport show is $3 for adults and $2 for children and seniors. Children 8 years and younger will be admitted free.

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