Hunting, fishing enthusiasts to reunite this Friday-Sunday
IMLAY CITY — The long-awaited 35th Annual Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend will be taking on added significance following last year’s cancellation due to COVID-19, not just for the thousands of outdoor lovers and many vendors who’ve been anxiously awaiting its return, but for event organizers.
Randy Jorgensen, Woods-N-Water News publisher, lamented last year’s cancellation, but reiterated the importance of ensuring the safety of of everyone in the midst of the pandemic.
“We understood the seriousness of the situation and decided the public’s safety was the most important concern,” Jorgensen said. “But it was a hard pill to swallow.”
Event coordinators, Tom Campbell and Keil Jorgensen, are looking optimistically to this year’s Outdoor Weekend, which again takes place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Eastern Michigan State Fairgrounds.
Despite last year’s sabbatical, they expect a large turnout of vendors, along with the return of the event’s most popular attractions.
“The show is an ideal opportunity to get prepared for the upcoming deer season,” said Keil Jorgensen.
“We’ll have the latest and greatest in everything from foot plots to bows and much more.”
In addition to gear, vehicles and tools, showgoers can also seek out their next hunting buddy in the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation’s Puppy Tent. There’s still time for breeders to reserve their spot in the Puppy Tent by visiting outdoorweekend.net or calling 810-724-0254.
Keil Jorgensen notes that attendees are welcome to bring their dogs with them and, if they’d like, can register to compete in the popular Ultimate Air Dogs competition. Details about the show’s Air Dogs schedule can be found at ultimateairdogs.com.
Toss an axe
Ever wanted to try your hand at throwing an axe? That opportunity will be available to this year’s show attendees.
Ayo Akindona of the Native-Axe Throwing Company of Midland is bringing his specially designed trailer for those wishing to test their skills.
The Outdoor Weekend event also gives attendees a chance to hear from the best experts in the field and see world-class performers too.
Among them are Alabama-based legend Byron Ferguson, who continues to amaze audiences with his archery skills.
Also returning is Native American Indian Reg Pettibone, whose traditional dancing and storytelling are a must-see for Outdoor Weekend visitors of all ages.
Also back is Outdoor Weekend fixture Steve Francis, the owner of the Country Smoke House in Almont. Francis will again be demonstrating the art and proper technique of butchering and processing a big whitetail.
Stop by the frontier and Civil War encampments and observe what everyday life was like for our forefathers.
Watch champion chainsaw carvers Alonzo Montoya and Tom Gillman at work; sample recipes at Saturday’s Camp Chili Cook-Off at 3 p.m. and bring a mount to be scored by Commemorative Bucks of Michigan officials.
On Saturday and Sunday, a shuttle service will be offered from Imlay City School’s parking lots—Borland Elementary School on Borland Road and Imlay City High School on Blacks Corners Road—directly to the fairgrounds.
Showgoers who wish to take advantage of this free service are encouraged to look for and follow signage.
Earlier start time
The 35th Annual Outdoor Weekend takes place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-12 at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds in Imlay City.
New this year, the gates will open two hours earlier on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Show hours are 3-9 p.m. on Friday; 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Admission is $10 per person and kids 12 and under are free. Parking is free.
For further information, visit the Outdoor Weekend website at outdoorweekend.net or call 810-724-0254.