Bowie knife show hopes to cut into your weekend

Published 12:05 am Saturday, August 14, 2010

VIDALIA — Today, the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center will be full of people who are armed to the teeth.

But it’s not because those in attendance believe they will be involved in some kind of violent conflict. The weapons they’ll bring, however, have been.

That’s because today is the Jim Bowie Knife Show, the annual antique weapons show started by Dunleith owner Mike Worley and the late Logan Sewell.

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Worley said he expects between 70 and 90 exhibitors to show up, and 65 tables at the show had already been sold at setup time Friday afternoon.

Having a show for antique knives and guns near the site of Jim Bowie’s infamous sandbar brawl only made sense, Worley said.

Reports of the 1827 fight — in which two men were killed and four men, including Bowie, were wounded — led to a rise in popularity for the large-style knife Bowie used during the altercation.

“Logan was my mentor in knife-collecting, and we felt like there should be a knife show near where it all began,” he said.

The first show was at Bowie’s Tavern, and in subsequent years it has been hosted at the Natchez Convention Center.

“We moved it to Vidalia this year because there was a conflict with dates (at the Natchez Convention Center), but I wanted to keep it in the area,” Worley said.

Only one other show of this kind exists, and Worley said it — The Antique Bowie Knife Show — moves from city to city on a yearly basis.

“There are only two of these shows, and Natchez is the permanent spot on the circuit,” he said.

No modern weapons are allowed in the show, Worley said.

“Anybody who wants to come is welcome, and they will see some of the finest Bowie knives placed in one room,” he said. The show is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

Admission is $5.