Wildlife Extravaganza, Ag and Outdoor Expo in Jackson, Mississippi
Want to meet some of the cast members of television series “Swamp People,” including Mississippi’s own Ashley Jones, or see the Axe Women Loggers of Maine in action?
Are you interested in shopping for the latest in outdoor gear and farm equipment, watching hunting dogs in action, then taking in a concert featuring Tyler Farr and Mississippi native Adam Doleac?
Two outdoor and wildlife expositions soon coming to the Jackson area on back-to-back weekends are offering such opportunities and more.
Organizers are expecting large crowds and plenty of vendors.
“Out of the 300 booths, I would say right now there’s maybe 20 left,” said Don Brazil, CEO of the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, which is hosting the Mississippi Ag and Outdoor Expo Aug. 6-8 in Jackson. “It will definitely be a sellout for the booths. We’re really excited with the vendor turnout.”
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Ashlee Smith, CEO of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, which is hosting the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza July 30-Aug. 1 in Flowood, said her organization is experiencing much the same.
“I think we’re up to about 150 vendors,” Smith said. “Some vendors have multiple booths, of course.”
Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza moves to Flowood
Long held at the Mississippi Trade Mart on the Mississippi Fairgrounds, the Wildlife Extravaganza has relocated to the Sheraton Refuge Hotel & Conference Center in Flowood in Rankin County near Jackson.
Often referred to as the unofficial start of hunting season, the event will take place at its traditional time, the first weekend of August. Attendees will find a mix of familiar faces as well as newcomers.
“It’s about half historic vendors and about half are new,” Smith said.
As expected, the latest in hunting, fishing and outdoor gear will be onsite. Traditional attractions such as Jason Reynolds and his famous retrievers and catfish hand-grabbing tanks will be on hand, but the event will focus on shooting sports, angling, outdoor experiences and gear with hands-on training and demonstrations.
The 12-acre lake on the property offers a natural setting for fishing, kayak fishing and retriever demonstrations. The surrounding grounds allow space to showcase large items such as hunting blinds, trucks and boats. Food trucks will also be onsite offering chicken, catfish, barbecue, tacos and more.
Smith said there will be plenty of attractions and demonstrations for children and the Ladies Power Hour will focus on women in the outdoors from 1-3 p.m. on July 31.
Guests will include “Swamp People” reality television series celebrities Jones, Ronnie Adams and Bruce Mitchell, hunting personality David Ellis, better known as Yawt Yawt, and motivational speaker Josh Carney, along with many others.
The Magnolia Records Big Buck Contest will also return and because it wasn’t held last year, will include bucks from 2019 and 2020 seasons.
“We’re expecting a huge draw for that,” Smith said.
Smith also noted that as in years past, the event needs volunteers who will receive free weekend passes for helping fill 3- to 4-hour shifts.
“We will take all the volunteers we can get,” Smith said.
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Mississippi Ag and Outdoor Expo at Trade Mart in Jackson
A newcomer this year, the Mississippi Ag and Outdoor Expo will be held at the new Mississippi Trade Mart on the Mississippi Fairgrounds Aug. 6-8. The event focuses on hunting, fishing and agricultural products.
“Our intent is to have a consumer show that is family-friendly with the intention that people can come and purchase things at a good price and see the new and up-and-coming products,” Brazil said.
Attendees will find an array of hunting, fishing and agriculture products and services along with worldwide guide and outfitter services. Off-road vehicles and farming equipment will also be featured.
Brazil said there are plenty of activities for children, too. A simulated skidder, which is used to move harvested timber, will be onsite so people can get a taste of what it’s like to work in the logging industry.
High-flying retrievers will perform in the Fetch-N-Fish tank, participating members of the Archery in Mississippi Schools program will compete in an archery tournament for scholarships and there will be a petting zoo.
Other family entertainment includes the Axe Women Loggers of Maine.
“We want things for the family to do all day long,” Brazil said. “Kids get to experience things they don’t typically do and enjoy a concert at night.”
The Aug. 7 concert in the coliseum will be headlined by country musician Tyler Farr. Opening acts include Corey Smith along with Mississippi natives Adam Doleac and Hannah Everhart.
“Hannah Everhart was one of the ‘American Idol’ contestants,” Brazil said. “She’s from Canton so we put her at the beginning act.”
The concert begins at 6 p.m. and ticket prices range from $20 to $65.
Brazil also said no one should go hungry through the weekend at the expo.
“Lots of good food; I’ll put it that way,” Brazil said. “We want people to stay on the fairgrounds all throughout the day. We’ll have everything right there.”
Contact Brian Broom at 601-961-7225 or [email protected]. Follow Clarion Ledger Outdoors on Facebook and @BrianBroom on Twitter.
If you go
- July 30, 12-7 p.m.
- July 31, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Aug. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Adults, $10
- Kids 12 and younger, $5
- Weekend passes, $20
- Kids Day, July 30: Kids 12 and younger admitted free
- Ladies Power Hours, July 31, 1-3 p.m.: No cost and receive a free T-shirt while supplies last.
Ag & Outdoor Expo
- Aug. 6, 12-7 p.m.
- Aug. 7, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Aug 8, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Mississippi Trade Mart, Mississippi Fairgrounds, 1207 Mississippi St., Jackson
- Adults, $12
- Kids 6-15, $6
- Kids 5 and younger, free
- Aug. 6: Kids 15 and younger, free