30th Annual Louisiana Sportsman’s Show and Festival features most exhibitors event has had at Lamar Dixon Expo Center

Lyle Johnson
A large crowd looks on as the log rolling competition gets underway Saturday during the 30th Annual Louisiana Sportsman’s Show at Lamar Dixon Expo Center.

I have written several articles about the condition of the fishing in our area and how bad the fish kill was after Gustav and Ike. All of it has been gloom and doom so I want to apologize for that because not all of the fish were killed.

It is true that this fish kill event is the worst I’ve ever seen in my lifetime but we’ve always recovered from acts of nature before and we’ll do it again. One group that is willing to bet some time and money on this fact is the crew of the Wednesday evening bass tournaments held out of Canal Bank Club on the Diversion Canal.

I sort of ruled this tournament not happening in the back of my mind but a couple of the guys that organize the after work event, David Cavell and Corey Wheat told me different. Starting on March 25 from 5 - 8 p.m, the first of the 2009 season of the Wednesday evening tournaments will take place.

The entry fee is $40 per boat with all entries paid back to the winners, including the big bass of the day. The launch fee is $5 paid to Canal Bank. The only rule change this year is the limit; it’s been reduced from five bass to three bass.

I for one am glad these guys are keeping this tradition going and we’ll get to see first hand just how the bass population is right now. Give Dave Cavell a call at (225) 937-0046 or email, or just call Canal Bank at (225) 698-6974.

This past weekend the Louisiana Sportsman’s Show took place at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. I spent about five hours there on Saturday. Even though the weather was a little damp the crowd was big and enthusiastic. Both buildings were full of exhibitors and business appeared to be pretty good in general.

The exhibition that packed the stands in the 4-H building was the logging demonstration. We picked up some of the delicious food from Drago’s; duck and sausage gumbo, grilled oysters and crab cakes. We made our way to the grand stand to put away the groceries and watch the demonstration.

First up was the chain saw carving that consisted of making about a dozen or so cuts on a small log. The precise cuts generated six small chairs that were given away to the crowd. Next on the agenda was a friendly competition of ax throwing.

The two men threw axes from 20 paces to a red, white and blue target with amazing accuracy. Among the trio was a female log rolling champion that took part in the next portion of the humorous competition that pitted hand sawing versus chain saws.

After losing the first round cutting a slice off the log with the chain saw that was used for the carving, the loser got out a chain saw that would make Tim the Toolman Taylor a bit envious. His next cut went like a hot knife in butter.

The final portion of the competition pitted the female log roller against one of the guys in a pool of water for some friendly log rolling competition. The first round ended with both contestants falling off the log simultaneously. The next two rounds split so the end result was a tie; pretty entertaining.

The show had the most exhibitors of any of the Louisiana Sportsman’s Shows we’ve had at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. My journey around the booths was sort of bittersweet as I realized that this one would be the final one in Ascension Parish.

Event promoter, Bob DelGoirno was a little sad as he sort of felt like he’d found the home he’s always wanted when the show moved from New Orleans to Lamar/Dixon Expo Center after Hurricane Katrina.

After our great meal we scarfed down some cotton candy and candied almonds while viewing all the booths and exhibitors at the Trade Mart Building. As I made my way to my vehicle in the misting rain, I stopped and turned around and looked at the silo’s I’d explored as a kid and wondered why this had to come to an end. It was a little painful. So until next time, have fun in the outdoors, be safe and may God truly bless you.

The look of excitement as Canaan Watts catches a rainbow trout at the fish pond.