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2019 Outdoor Expo sees over 500 over two-day run

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
A combined two-day estimate of over 500 persons flowed into Hempstead Hall for the 2019 Outdoors Expo held over Friday and Saturday of this weekend. As the Expo was in its final hours after lunch on Saturday, small groups of persons were still arriving to check out the various vendors and items.
Friday night’s activities also saw a two-act concert headlined by the Kentucky Headhunters and Prescott’s own Rachel Hale; separate reviews of their shows can be seen elsewhere on SWARK Today over this weekend.
New Hempstead Hall Director Amanda Lance said Friday, “We are off to a good start. So far, its gone very well. The vendors are happy. Several vendors have had really good sales over the course of the day, and we love having all our sponsors out here.”
Vendors had exhibits ranging from boats, tractors and remote lawn mowers to knifes, duck calls, and homemade honey. Over the two-days several of them also offered door prizes and giveaways. Lance noted the Expo’s variety of vendors and exhibits of interest to all outdoors enthusiasts.
“We’ve had boats, all-terrain vehicles, tractors, travel trailers, duck and turkey calls, fishing gear, knives, and lawn mowers for people to see,” she said.
Over the past three years, the Expo has been touted as a regional outdoor trade show, with most exhibits and vendors focused on hunters, fishermen, hikers, campers and weekend outdoor enthusiasts.
On Saturday, as the Expo was finishing up its second day, Lance said, “I’m glad to see more people coming in today, and I saw some new faces today.”
Particularly strong on Saturday was a mid-morning crowd that had the lobby area of Hempstead Hall nearly filled up, but after lunch, smaller groups and families were in and out, up to the closing hours.
As before, inclement weather may have affected overall attendance with both days unseasonably cool, but Saturday being sunny and a bit warmer. Much of Friday was cloudy, cold, and rainy. The Expo opened at approximately 12 noon Friday, running up to Kentucky Headhunters concert at 7:30 p.m.
Prior to their performance, members of the Headhunters themselves visited the vendors. Headhunters lead singer Doug Phelps, who was born in Northwest Arkansas, visited with vendor Bob Irwin, and according to Irwin, “He sat with me for a while talking about tractors.”
There were also plenty of familiar local faces seen. Irwin donned a black cowboy hat for much of the Expo, while Lynn Heckman of Hope Outdoor Power & Equipment manned his booth with several of his items.

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