Wild Indiana Outdoors to offer something for everyone

Ivy Tech outdoor event set for Jan. 16 and 17

Mike McClelland

Mike McClelland

Edwin Evers

Edwin Evers

KOKOMO, Ind. — After the success of the inaugural  “Wild Indiana Outdoors” event earlier this year, Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region is preparing for the second annual expo designed to have something to interest just about everyone, whether they have an interest in the great outdoors or not.

The two-day event will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, at the Kokomo Event & Conference Center, 1500 N. Reed Road (Indiana 931). Admission is $5 at the door; children 10 and younger will be admitted for $1 each.

This year’s guest speakers include nationally recognized professional tournament anglers Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark., and Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla. Both have earned distinction as Bassmaster Elite Series anglers; McClelland is a four-time Elite Series champion while Evers is a 13-time Bassmaster Classic Qualifier.

Renowned raptor expert Mark Loring Booth of Indianapolis, executive director of Take Flight! Wildlife Education, will bring his much-celebrated birds of prey program and Garry Hill of Howard County’s Wildcat Guardians will talk about paddling and fishing the Wildcat Creek and other mid-central Indiana streams and rivers.  Nationally recognized crappie angler Doug Sikora will also take the stage on Saturday and explain his secrets to catching slab-sided crappies.

“We considered our first expo a monumental success. Nearly 3,000 visitors attended the event to learn more about Hoosier outdoor opportunities ranging from hunting and fishing to biking and RV traveling,” said John Martino, director of Facilities for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region, local outdoor writer and a member of the Wild Indiana planning committee. “We’re still taking reservations for exhibitors and vendors but we already have more than 60 signed up for the 2016 edition.”

Along with many hunting, fishing and camping specialists, exhibitors will be showing products and services for boating, bicycling, canoeing and kayaking, campfire cooking, skydiving and more. Martino said other vendors include people who offer custom-made knives, hand crafted fishing rods and artificial lures … “anything related to the outdoors.”

To register for a vendor booth, at $100 each, access the registration form at thekokomoeventcenter.com and select the “Wild Indiana” button in the upper right.  For more information on booth registration, contact Greg Aaron at 765-854-2301 or gaaron@ivytech.edu .

Platinum sponsors for the event include Financial Builders Credit Union and WWKI Cumulus Broadcasting. Tri-County RV Sales is a gold sponsor. Blue Water LED, B’n’M Pole Company, and Delaware Prop are silver sponsors and Hampton Inn and Suites is a bronze sponsor. Session sponsors include H.E. McGonigal’s, Quality Outdoor Power, Top of the Line Auto Detail, and Wildlife Control Services.

Harvey Hinklemeyers will be offering food, including hot drinks to chase away the cold, for sale during the event.

The Kokomo Automotive Museum will be selling raffle tickets for a new 12-foot Lowe aluminum 1236 flat bottom boat and trailer valued at more than $2,400. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5. The winner will be drawn at 3 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Kokomo Automotive Museum.

For additional information on Wild Indiana Outdoors, contact Martino at 765-252-5554 or jmartino2@ivytech.edu or Aaron at 765-854-2301 or gaaron@ivytech.edu. Visit thekokomoeventcenter.com and follow the link to Wild Indiana in the upper right corner for more information. ​

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About Ivy Tech Kokomo Region

Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region serves Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami, and Tipton counties and includes campuses or instructional sites in the communities of Kokomo, Logansport, Peru, and Rochester. Ivy Tech serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association. For more information, visit www.ivytech.edu.
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