April 23 • 01:04 PM

Celebrate outdoors at Outdoor Weekend

Three-day event comes to Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds on Sept. 7-9

Families and friends tour grounds during last year’s Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend at the fairgrounds. The event kicks off this Friday.

September 05, 2007
IMLAY CITY — The Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend reaches the age of majority this year, and the celebration will be in full swing this weekend, Sept. 7-9, at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds.

To mark the Outdoor Weekend's 21st birthday, event organizers Randy Jorgensen and Tom Campbell have planned a three-day party sure to satisfy any outdoorsman or woman.

Whether a hunter, fisherman or just someone with an appreciation for the outdoors, the event has something for everyone, including the children in attendance.

Back by popular demand and headlining this year's Outdoor Weekend is the popular Ultimate Air Dogs program.

Organized by former Detroit Tiger pitcher Milt Wilcox and son Brian, the high-flying dogs are a sight to behold as they demonstrate their jumping abilities in three events; long jumping, vertical jumping and "Catch It," an event where the dogs are required to catch objects thrown by their handlers while completing a long jump.

The event is open to everyone, with local dogs being invited on Friday to qualify for the finals on Saturday and Sunday.

For history buffs or those with a preference for roughing it, visitors can stop by the Civil War and Frontier encampments or attend various workshops and demonstrations on the arts of flintknapping, blacksmithing, spear throwing, basket making and survival skills.

For the hungry in the crowd, the Outdoor Weekend offers wild game food concessions as well as traditional fare and refreshments. Or spice things up by sampling some of the finest cuisine ever concocted during the ever-popular Camp Chili Contest.

Many of the state's most knowledgeable outdoor writers and personalties, including: Richard Smith, Fred and Greg Abbas and Ed Spinazzola, will be on hand to share their stories and opinions.

In the Dog Demonstration area, expert trainer Charlie Linblade will demonstrate "pointing" and "retrieving," along with waterfowl dog hunting.

The Puppy Tent is always a popular destination for anyone wishing to view or purchase an animal, and Bill Yoder's live deer show and Richard English's wild exotic live animal displays will likely draw large crowds. And for the kids, or the kids at heart, there will be a trout pond climbing wall.

On Sunday, Randy's Hunting Center will conduct a Gun Auction, with more than 150 guns going up for bid, along with a land auction of more than 150 acres of prime property in Michigan's Thumb area. After the land auction, a 2008 Arctic Cat ATV wil l be auctioned off with proceeds going to the Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Foundation. The Foundation provides grants and programs promoting Michigan's outdoors.

And of course, there will be no shortage of friendly banter among visitors, all of whom share a common love for hunting, fishing and the out-of-doors.

Randy Jorgensen, Woods-N-Water News publisher, said the event's nearly 200 vendors are the most ever assembled at the show, a good sign in Michigan's sluggish economy.

Show hours are Friday, Sept. 7, 5-9 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 8, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission to the 2007 Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend is $7, including parking. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

The Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds is located on M-53 (Van Dyke), one-half mile north of the I-69 freeway.

For more information about the event, visit the Web or

Staff Writer
Castle Creek
04 - 23 - 19
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