Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

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A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Illinois hunting and fishing

Elmwood AllOutdoors Show

May 21, 2009 at 10:30 AM

While the date is a long way off, I just wanted to give our readers a heads up about the newest outdoor show in Illinois: The Elmwood AllOutdoors Show.

Scheduled for March 6-7, 2010 in Elmwood, the show is being modeled after the very successful event put on at Tinley Park High School. If imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery, then Rich Komar and his running mate Don Dziedzina should be flattered. They are the driving forces behind the Tinley Park show and we thank them for giving us a model that works. All money raised at the show will be used to benefit the athletic teams in Elmwood.

Unfortunately, the model most other outdoor shows are using does not work. The non-working model I’m speaking about is the one that charges you to get in, charges you to park, charges too much for food and then has a hall half filled with outdoors vendors and half filled with siding salesmen, trinkets and smoked almonds. The almonds I like. Not so much the other stuff.

A few shows still do it right in terms of collecting a quality field of vendors. The Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic is a good example. So is the Tinley Park show. And I’ve heard glowing reports from the Quad Cities show. Those are the folks whose example we plan to follow in terms of the vendors we feature.

Our goal with the Elmwood AllOutdoors Show is to gather a quality field of vendors by catering to their needs and by charging a very reasonable booth fee. Since we are not trying to make money on this show, but instead trying to help athletic teams (including the fishing squad), we don’t have to charge much for vendors or for admission. The hope is that if we can draw enough quality, outdoor-related vendors we will also attract a crowd. I will be keeping you posted about show developments in the months to come. While March seems like a long way off, it will be here in a heartbeat. So we are planning ahead. 

Chef Todd has already committed to help run a trout pond during the show. Now the only challenge will be to make him let the kids catch fish instead of hogging them to himself. Should be fun.

Click here to learn more about the show or if you are interested in signing up for a booth.

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