Wildlife expo coming to capitol starting today

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 4, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The 20th edition of the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza is back and bigger than ever.

The state&8217;s largest outdoor exhibition kicks off today at 3 p.m. at the Fairgrounds in Jackson.

This year&8217;s event is expected to draw the largest crowd ever topping last year&8217;s total of over 25,000 attendees. Event promoters have packed in over 200 exhibits and 43 seminars into this year&8217;s three-day event and are expecting record numbers of attendees to follow.

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&8220;It gets bigger and bigger every year,&8221; said Executive Director of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Cathy Shropshire. &8220;We are running out of room to put everything, the event keeps spilling out further and further into the trade grounds each year.&8221;

Promoters go out of their way to make the event a family affair.

&8220;While we know that a bulk of attendees will be hunters, we definitely try to put on a family show with events like the kid&8217;s duck calling contest, and the cutest camo kids contest,&8221; Shropshire said.

The &8220;big air dogs&8221; is also said to be a favorite exhibition for families or anyone who appreciates leaping Labradors.

If those don&8217;t strike your fancy, try the Big Buck contest, the Ducks Unlimited State and Regional Duck Calling contest with divisions for children and adults. Every child who participates in the Duck Calling contest will receive a free duck call.

Event promoters are encouraging anyone attending to come out today, as the crowds are expected to be much larger on both Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are available at the door and cost $7 today and $8 both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 for children ages 6-12 and children ages five and under are admitted for free.

For more information go to www.wildlife.org.