KEMPTON – While taking pride in the fact that the Lehigh Valley Hunting and Fishing Extravaganza is a an outdoors show that features hands-on activities and participation events for adults and youngsters, co-promoters Bob Danenhower and Rick Weaknecht are equally proud of being able to find new attractions.
This year the three-day show opens at the Kempton Fairgrounds Friday, Aug. 23, from noon to 8 p.m. and continues Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24 and 25, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Once again all the activities that have been a staple of the show in recent years will be held, but making its debut is a photography contest with the theme of "Get Outdoors."
"This contest is open to all ages to interpret the theme in any manner they choose," Danenhower said. "We thought this was a great way to get more people into the outdoors, and as the name of the contest suggests, grab your camera and get out there."
There is a maximum of three entries per person and photographs must be mounted on matt board no larger than 16 x 20. Entries can be made at the show, but the earlier the better as the voting will be done by those attending the show and prizes will be awarded Sunday at 1 p.m.
"We take pride in this show being a family experience with adults from regional and statewide sportsmen's groups volunteering their time and talents as youth mentors of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other youngsters attending the show," Danenhower said. "This has everything a regular sports show has with displays of new products, sales of outdoors gear, outfitters, manufacturer representatives and an outdoors hunting and fishing flea market Saturday where groups or individuals can sell their used gear."
There are several contests where contestants can match their outdoors skills and knowledge for a chance to win some valuable prizes, including the Pennsylvania Outdoors Skills Competition for those 16 years of age and older. Sponsored by Cabela's Hamburg store this competition includes outdoors skills such as marksmanship and casting as well as being able to identify trees and waterfowl.
As an addition to the competition Leslie Smith, the Pennsylvania outreach coordinator for the National Wild Turkey Federation's Women In The Outdoors Program, will have a special drawing for the women. And anyone competing in the skills competition may bring their own shotguns and fishing rods or use those provided.
Once again there will be the Scout Challenge, a 10-station competition scattered across the fairgrounds to test youngsters in BB-gun marksmanship, tomahawk throwing, casting accuracy, knot tying and other events. Cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25, respectively, will go to the first-, second- and third-place finishers for their troop.
Also for youngsters 16 and younger is the Junior Lehigh Valley Outdoorsmen Competition with entrants competing in four events. Prizes will be awarded to the first three place winners.
For sporting clays enthusiasts there is a 10-station, 50-target shoot with targets simulating anything from fast-moving "rabbits" to high-flying "ducks" and everything in between. There is also a 25-bird course for this event.
Weaknecht Archery of Kutztown will once again have its 50-target, 3-D course, which was once a mainstay of the Weaknecht Bow Fair. This shoot will be split into two sections with archers taking aim at targets placed at moderate distances for the "Traditional Shoot" and others at longer, and more difficult distances in the "Modern Archery" division.
There will also be novelty archery shoots with targets including Ping Pong balls and even a simulated live turkey shoot. At the end of the show, the 3-D targets will be auctioned off beginning at 6 p.m.
Mark Wolfskill, owner of Pheasant Valley Farm Shooting Preserve, and guide Karen Keen will present training seminars for bird dogs all three days of the show. Then, on Sunday, they will oversee the Top Dog Challenge, a timed event for dogs that involves flushing planted live birds in a field.
Two free drawings will award a Remington Youth Model 870 shotgun to a youngster 16 or younger and a duck hunt by outfitter Randy Birch of Chincoteague Island, Virginia, to an adult. Only one entry per contest is permitted.
For information on all aspects of the Lehigh Valley Hunting and Fishing Extravaganza access the shows website at http://www.lvhfe.com/ or call Bob Danenhower at 610-398-7609 or Rick Weaknecht at 610-683-7405.