Expo to draw 10K guests to fairgrounds
By Jessica Tuggle
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- Long graying beards are appearing on the faces of many people in Indian River County in anticipation of a famous bearded guest at the Florida Outdoors Expo this weekend.
John Godwin, cast member of the hit A&E reality television series "Duck Dynasty" will be the featured guest at this year's event and will pose for photos and sign autographs, said Lieutenant Dave Dangerfield, event coordinator and Indian River County firefighter and emergency medical technician.
The Florida Outdoors Expo is scheduled to be held at the Indian River County fairgrounds on Aug. 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $7 for guests 12 and older. Children younger than 12 are free with a responsible supervising adult, a press release said.
A portion of the proceeds benefits the Indian River County Firefighters' Benevolent Association, which distributes funds to local charities, Lt. Dangerfield said.
Close to 200 vendors are expected at the event with a variety of outdoor and sports products for sale and display.
New this year to the expo will be a gator wrestling demonstration and animal education program by Gatorland, Lt. Dangerfield said.
Last year, the featured celebrity was Paul Bedard of the Animal Planet television show "Gator Boys," and even though the weather was full of rain, wind and storm clouds, people still drove out to event to meet him, Lt. Dangerfield said.
The Gatorland demonstrations will give visitors the chance to see what gator wrestling is truly like, he said.
The expo will include a gun and knife show, an RV and boat show, a Florida Fish and Wildlife hunter safety course, monster truck rides, outdoor sports demonstrations, children's activities and food vendors.
Demonstrations will include outdoor cooking, archery, casting, fly fishing, knot tying and BB gun shooting.
"I love the outdoors and the outdoor sports, so just bringing them all out here is a lot of fun," Lt. Dangerfield said.
Tickets can be purchased in advance online or in person at the entrance on the day of the event. Advance ticket holders will have the opportunity to enter the expo from a separate line, streamlining the entry process.
For tickets or more information about Florida Outdoors Expo, visit www.floridaoutdoorsexpo.com or www.facebook.com/floridaoutdoorsexpo.