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Chamber announces event to showcase recreation

A new event will highlight the outdoor activities available to residents and visitors of Unicoi County.
According to Amanda Delp, executive director of the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce, the inaugural Northeast Tennessee/Western North Carolina Outdoor Adventure Expo will be held on May 16 and 17 at the Erwin National Guard Armory.
“The Outdoor Adventure Expo is an event dedicated to outdoor recreation and adventure, as well as the lifestyle that surrounds them,” Delp said. “Attendees will enjoy this two-day event offering a vast array of events and exhibits under one roof. Whether one’s passion is hunting, fishing, camping, boating, hiking, biking, horseback riding, rafting, ATV riding, archery or shooting sports, once at the show attendees will be able to browse and purchase a multitude of items.”
The event will focus on what Delp called the “two main outdoor recreation anchors” in Unicoi County – mountains and waterways.
“From hiking along the Appalachian Trail and hunting atop Unaka Mountain to ATV riding on Buffalo Mountain and horseback riding in Camp Creek, the mountains in Northeast Tennessee and Western North Carolina offer exceptional recreational opportunities,” Delp also said. “The waterways in the region equally offer as many adventures as the mountains. From rafting the Nolichucky River to fly-fishing and bass fishing, the regions lakes, rivers and streams are abundant with recreational opportunity.”
Dawn Edwards, tourism director at the Chamber, said the Outdoor Adventure Expo will give attendees the chance to try new recreational activities.
“Tourism is Tennessee’s second largest industry and Unicoi County certainly has its fair share of outdoor adventure and recreational opportunities for tourists,” Edwards said. “This show will provide attendees with an opportunity to not only learn about all of those opportunities, but also tryout and purchase some of the equipment relating to the various activities.”
The expo will also include competitions, such as an archery contest and turkey calling contest, and chances to win prizes.
“It is our hope that the community will embrace and support the expo, as our goal is to evolve it into an annual event. The expo will be a fun event for the entire family, filled with food, contests, games, and lots of shopping,” Edwards also said.
The Chamber is currently accepting applications from vendors and exhibitors in the outdoor recreation industry for the event. Booth spaces are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“This event is a unique opportunity to be part of a regional effort that supports community development with outdoor recreation as a catalyst to enhance the economy in the region,” Delp said. “Our goal is for this event to raise excitement and awareness of the diverse outdoor recreational opportunities that are abundant across the region.”
Admission to the expo will be $5 per day or attendees can purchase a two-day pass for $8. Children 12 and under will be admitted free.
The hours of the expo are Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, from 1 to 6 p.m.
For more information on the show or to obtain a vendor/exhibitor application, please call the Chamber at 743-3000 or email at Edwards at [email protected]