Expo draws 1,000-plus

Published 7:45 pm Monday, July 30, 2012





The heat didn’t keep the scores of people away from this weekend’s Covington Sportsman’s Expo, as the crowd numbered more than 1,000 at various times Saturday, said organizer Harold Barnes.

The three-day event highlighted all things outdoors from hunting, fishing and archery to all points in between. Held at the Kiwanis Center, the expo concluded on Sunday, with goers from as far away as Pensacola, Fla., and Mobile attending.

Barnes said he’d love to host a bigger and better show next year.

“I hope the community enjoyed it,” Barnes said. “I’d love to see the community let the city know how much they enjoyed it too. Ultimately for shows like this to get bigger and better, it has to have the support.

“I heard from the local restaurants and hotels, who saw a lot of business,” he said. “Overall, I’d say the economic boost was a definite assistance to the county.”

Barnes said vendors were located inside the Kiwanis Building, on the fairgrounds and in the area next to the Covington Center Arena. Archery tournaments were hosted inside the arena.

“We did have some complaints from the outside vendors about the heat, but this is South Alabama in the middle of July,” he said. “Maybe we can look at different dates next year to combat that, but weather is a tricky thing. So, I’m not sure where you can go. If the county could get A/C in the arena, I think the show could grow tremendously.”

Barnes said demonstrations were also well received, with some boasting standing-room-only attendance.