Gun & Sportsmen Show keeps growing

Big Lakes County promoted its services at the show. Left-right, are Big Lakes Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) outreach worker Danielle Cox, Kinuso Councillor Roberta Hunt, grants officer Kim Moore and FCSS manager Nicole Hanna.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Huge crowds swarmed to the 20th annual High Prairie Gun and Sportsmen Show held April 15-16.

“We had great attendance and exhibitors were happy with the attendance and volume of sales,” says Darrell Basarab, longtime chairman of the show organized by High Prairie Fish and Game Association.

“We had several new vendors and many say they want to come back next year.”

Attendance over the two days was more than 4,500, he says.

Sold out the last seven shows with 150 vendors, the event featured about 50 vendors in the gun room in the Gordon Buchanan Recreation Centre, about 60 in the Artisans’ Market in the curling rink and the causeway and about 40 in the Sports Palace.

Opening day saw increased attendance.

“It was packed in all three venues in the morning on the first day,” Basarab says.

“We probably hadn’t seen it that full and busy at any one time in the past 10 shows.”

He believes attendance was up because more people were less reluctant to negative impacts of COVID-19 than they were at last year’s show and the stronger economy.

“The economy in the High Prairie region is improving,” Basarab says.

He notes the show is a boom for many local businesses, especially restaurants.

“We’re hearing that restaurants were very busy on the weekend,” Basarab says.

The 50-50 draw hit a record $10,000 on the first day with $5,000 for the winner, Basarab says.

Vendors and visitors were welcome to post comments on a Facebook page and organizers were delighted by the positive remarks.

“Our community reflects very well with our show because of our volunteers and hospitality,” Basarab says.

“Many people were impressed how well the High Prairie region supports the event.”

Basarab and the association thank all those who supported the event.

Organizers are already planning for the 21st annual show in 2024 set for April 20-21, Basarab says.

Many people tried out varieties of guns. Left-right, are Talon Labrentz, of Dawson Creek, and Kayne Young, of Sexsmith.

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