The 65th annual Fred Hall Show hits Southern California this week, opening Wednesday at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.
This extravaganza of exhibits and seminars is a must-visit for any outdoor enthusiast. Now subtitled the "Ultimate Outdoor Experience," the exhibitor list has grown to include hunting lodges, firearms manufacturers, outdoor adventures, shooting sports and fishing destination resorts worldwide.
But not to worry -- fishing will still be well represented in the approximately 500 vendor booths and 400 seminars taking place over five days.
There are plenty of activities for children as well, including a free trout fishing pond, archery and gun ranges, fishing video game contests, laser shot games, kids casting lanes and more. And entertaining for both young and old will be the return of the ever-popular Dock Dogs competition on the patio.
Another unique exhibit will feature a preview of "The Manzanar Fishing Club," a documentary film on the Japanese American internees who used to sneak out of the World War II relocation camp at Manzanar to fish the trout-filled waters of the Eastern Sierra.
"This is still a work in progress," said Cory Shiozaki, the filmmaker who organized the project scheduled for release later this year, "but we are thrilled to give an early look to our many friends in the fishing community here in Southern California."
Hours are 2 to 9:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and military members, and free for children 15 and younger with a paid adult.
The show then heads down to the Del Mar Fairgrounds March 24 through 27. Hours are noon to 8:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the Del Mar show is $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and military members and free for children 15 and younger with a paid adult.
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: The 2010 Fred Hall Show in Long Beach was bustling with outdoor enthusiasts. Credit: Fred Hall Shows