Lake Life Expo Reels In A Crowd

By: 
Judy Kramer
County Reporter
More than 500 adults plus children braved a rainy Saturday to enjoy the 3rd Annual Lake Life Hunting & Fishing Show held at the Warsaw Community Building on February 23rd.  They were greeted at the door by Jubilee Days Princess Kaylee Lawson and her sister, Eibhlin Lawson, who happens to be Jubilee Days Little Miss. The royal pair helped collect canned food that guests brought in for the Food Pantry, and gave out free tote bags. They provided some glamour and glitter to the otherwise sporty event. Princess Lawson said last year was the first time in 52 years that sisters were  winners in the same Jubilee Days pageants.
Vendor booths were sold out and featured wares ranging from scented sprinkles to kayaks, guns to t-shirts, and taxidermy to fishing lures. One vendor, 417 Shedheads, stood out with an array of deer antler arts and crafts. Among items for sale were dog chews (broken pieces of antlers), and a necklace holder made with an antler posted to a circular wooden stand. Jelifish representatives sold crappie bombs, and handed out cards advertising Joey Jelinek, Lake Guide. 
The Warsaw River Rats booth advertised its Kids Need to Fish (KNTF) Adult/Youth Catfish Tournament coming up March 2, at Shawnee Bend Boat Ramp, and free fishing for kids coming up on June 1, at East Bledsoe Ferry in Warsaw. The organization provides all the gear kids need in order to fish, plus food, door prizes, and boat rides. More information, or to donate, email warsawriverrats@yahoo.com.  
Truman Lake K9 Academy brought its lovable service German Shepherd, Sheiba, who demonstrated some of the tricks she has been taught.  The Academy offers training that includes puppy classes, basic obedience, E-collar, Canine Good Citizen license and up the ladder to service dog training. Trainer, Tim Snider said they had a new facility in Racquet, and have 25 new clients a week.
Another interesting booth called Triple River Gunsmithing had displays of guns and rifles, owned by Harlan and Meagan Satrang. Meagan Satrang said that she is trying to get together a class for women and youth who want to learn to handle guns. She provides guns for the class and those with their own guns may bring them. For information on class scheduling,  contact her at meagansatrang@gmail.com
Other vendors, not mentioned above were Spoonydivers, Truman Lake Marine, Crown Custom Graphics, Birdman Apparel, Boat Beacher, Rock Hill Marine, Angler’s Port Marine, Rifles & Reels Taxidermy, Mossy Oak Properties, Going Coastal, Ozark Outdoors, Highway Patrol, NAPA and the Missouri Conservation Department.
“One of the things this Expo has helped with is partnership,” said Mac Vorce, Director of the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce, that sponsored the event. “The Warsaw River Rats got to meet up with some other vendors, like NAPA, who didn’t know much about the charitable organization, and offered to give a donation toward KNTF.  The River Rats organized a fishing event last year for 400 children, and their goal this year is 500 kids.”
Vorce said that this is his second Expo, and this year he wanted to add in “Lake Life,” to the hunting and fishing theme, because it adds a multitude of users instead of just those who hunt and fish. He said this Chamber event was able to not only draw vendors from the local area, but those from places like Camdenton, Ozark and Sunrise Beach.
“The best thing is that local entrepreneurs have a platform to sell their goods,” said Vorce. “Not all of them have buildings, and some small businesses can utilize this event to get County name recognition. This Expo also gives the community a special something to do on Saturday. It will continue to be an annual event.”
Vorce also wants to start a “Second Saturday Open Market” beginning in April to give more opportunities to vendors, and bring another couple of hundred people to town. It will take place during the months of April, May, July and August on Van Buren Street, from 8 Am until 2 PM. Cost of a booth will be $10. If it grows, then it can be moved to Main Street. Vendors will sell produce, flowers and other items. Vorce said that it will be a service to the community.
“There are ideas for improving our community coming from other city chambers of Commerce in the county as well as from Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission and West Central Missouri Community Action,” said Vorce. “Ideas are also being generated at Building Local Prosperity workshops involving people from all walks of life in Benton County, who try to see what our needs are and how to reach our goals.  One idea that keeps coming up is the marketplace, and we are going to try it out and hope it grows. Maybe the Farmer’s Market might want to join up with us in the future. We’ll give it a try.”
 

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