The 30th annual Hammond Outdoor Sports Show will take place Saturday and Sunday as the city’s parks and recreation department welcomes thousands of guests to the Jean Shepherd Center.
"It's been a long time so far," said Mark Narantic, one of the event's organizers. "We’re looking forward to putting on another great show."
The two-day affair will showcase a host of exhibitors, including outdoors retailers, tackle manufacturers, fishing guides and charters, resorts, boats, all-terrain vehicles, sporting associations and clubs, government agencies, and food vendors.
A full schedule of seminars will take place both days.
"There is always a big turnout at the seminars," said Ralph Steiger, a professional Lake Michigan charter fishing guide who has been seminar hosting and exhibiting at this show for the past five years. “The people that show up are really into it. They take notes and snap pictures of the baits and things that are discussed.
"The city of Hammond does a good job with the seminars and the entire show in general. There is a nice variety of speakers and stuff for everyone to do all day long."
Fresh to the seminar schedule this year is a session on outdoor photography hosted by Gretchen Steele.
"The outdoor photography topic is something new for us," Narantic said. "What we are trying to do is bring some women indoors from the outdoors. We want to have subjects interesting to a range of people. This show has always been very family oriented."
Youngsters will be able to stay busy at the show with the climbing rock wall, minnow races, trout pond and kids fishing seminar Saturday.
Admission is $5 for adults, kids under 12 get in for free. Free entry is offered to individuals that bring deer antlers to be scored by Buckmasters.
The first 300 visitors each day will receive goodie bags that include a 30th annual sports show commemorative coffee mug. In addition, more than 100 door prizes donated by the show vendors will be drawn each day.