Dates set for U.P. Ice Fishing and Hunting Expo

ESCANABA — The ice may have only just melted — with the exception of a few stubborn, lingering patches — and yet there are already some who await its return.

The dates of the Third Annual U.P. Ice Fishing and Hunting Expo have been set, and ad reps at The Daily Press have been booking vendors for the event. This year, TV6 and WZMQ will both take part, and new and returning vendors are flowing in.

The expo, which will be Sept. 20 to 22 at the U.P. State Fairgrounds, is held with the objective of connecting outdoor enthusiasts and helping them prepare for hunting and ice fishing seasons.

Signed up so far are Blake’s Baits, created by a teen from Manistique who also participated last year; Optimum Whitetail, producer of deer mineral feed in Wisconsin; Jay Outdoor Gear, whose flagship item is a rope marketed for ice rescues; and others that continue to trickle in thanks to connections across communities.

Word about the event has been traveling across the Midwest. Daily Press staff have recruited at similar shows in Green Bay and Marquette, and an attendee who offered to distribute flyers has helped form bridges to other interested parties. Last year, L&M Fleet Supply got on board after hearing patrons in a store in Minnesota discuss the U.P. Ice Fishing and Hunting Expo, said Daily Press Publisher Sarah Maki, who coordinates the show.

Two Lower Peninsula-based channels — Up North Journal, who did interviews with participants last year, and Michigan Walleye News, a sports and recreation group — have agreed to promote the expo.

“Needless to say, the potential is growing for this to be bigger and bigger and bigger, and people are hearing about it from all over the place,” said Maki.

There will be food vendors, too — so far, The Grateful Cheese and Donut Diner are on the list.

The event is still free for the public to attend, but canned good donations to be given to a local food pantry will be accepted at the door.

Booth space for exhibitors is reasonably priced, as vendors may choose from five different package options. Anyone interested in applying may call (906)786-2021 ext. 101 or email smaki@dailypress.net.


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