This weekend, the Mat-Su Outdoorsman Show takes place, the first sign that summer is right around the corner. The show, which features booths and demonstrations about all things outdoors, is a highlight for me, because I know it's almost time to dust off my fishing rods, dig out my camping gear and get ready for another summer in Alaska.
The outdoorsman show is a like a playground for those who enjoy the outdoors. You can spend an afternoon perusing the booths at the Menard Center and come away with an entire summer's worth of ideas. Fishing guides are definitely represented, and you can schedule all of your trips in one place - whether it be for salmon on the Deshka River or halibut down on the Kenai Peninsula. You can also learn about fun getaways like jet boat trips in Talkeetna, hiking in the Mat-Su Valley or even recreational opportunities outside the Valley. And of course, there is the latest fishing and hunting gear, which makes my wife nervous when I leave the house with the credit card.
An often overlooked aspect to the outdoorsman show is the seminars. These free demonstrations include topics on salmon fishing, fly tying, trapping, GPS use, hunting and more. They are all free with admission, and you can walk away with new tactics to use when you are in the outdoors this summer. There will also be author book signings, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game laser shooting range and more than 100 vendors.
The Mat-Su Outdoorsman Show runs from noon-6 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 (the first hour on Sunday is free admission), and parking is free. All booths and seminars are at the Menard Center in Wasilla.