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published: Sunday, June 24, 2012
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- It was an outdoor lovers' mini-paradise Saturday as the first day of the Everything Outdoors Expo Presented by Spurlow's Outdoor Outfitters kicked off at the Highlands County Fair Convention Center.
Visitors from all over Central Florida roamed the booths of vendors lined in the Center looking at interesting and handy merchandise.
Everything from camouflage to airboats, coolers to fishing rods were set up for guests to enjoy and hopefully purchase. Vendors from all over the local community as well as the state demonstrated and sold items to eager customers.
One of the largest vendors at the Expo, the local Home Depot, even had a station dedicated to the little builders and handymen.
The Home Depot Kids Workshop booth was a hit, drawing in handfuls of little boys and girls creating their own tool boxes, shelves and other items Saturday morning.
Other vendors included Huntn Jewels, Lake June West, Spurlow's, Kline's Custom Airboats and much more.
Huntn Jewels is owned and operated by Deborah Durrance out of Lake Placid and features custom wildlife and game jewelry, accessories and decor.
"This is my first year here," said Durrance. "I have people who come who want personalized jewelry, so that's what we are trying to create for her."
Huntn Jewels' decorative and festive booth features wildlife decor and camo attire especially for the ladies who enjoy the great outdoors.
The Expo features numerous raffles including barbecue grills, air boat tours, party passes and a grand prize of a Hoyt Carbon Fiber Bow.
"I heard about it and have never been before so we came out. It's our first time here.
"We aren't really looking for anything but if something jumps out at us we'll buy it," said Sebring resident Eric Keiber. Keiber and his young son, Joseph, were busy enjoying the different booths throughout the Expo.
Other guests, like 3-year-old Lillie Martinez and her mother and grandparents, came for a specific item and purpose.
"We're from Kissimmee. I heard about this on the radio so we drove down today. We've been looking for a camper and thought we could maybe find one here. She's here for the kid's camo contest," said Martinez's mother.
George White, president of the Highlands County Fair Association, was pleased with the first day's turnout.
"This is our second year, we have more quality vendors...It's hard to tell if there's more here than last year, but tomorrow is the second day of it so we'll see," said White.
The Everything Outdoors Expo will continue from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. today Entry fee is $5 per person, children 12 and under are free (parking is also free). For more information, visit www.hcfcc.net/.
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