By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
The Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Show was one of the first major events cancelled last year due to the emerging threat of coronavirus.
This year, it’s one of the first large events to return as the pandemic begins to subside.
The March 11-14 show at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center will again set a trend by being one of the first large events to resume, with modifications to keep attendees safe.
“We are going to a timed-ticketing strategy so we can keep folks distanced. It’s going to be mandatory face wear for everybody. Exhibitors, attendees, staff, everybody,” said Trey Carskadon with O’Loughlin Trade Shows. “Internally, we’ve put a number of measures in place, wider aisles, that will keep people distanced.”
The kids fishing pond and fast draw competition, two very popular activities, will not be offered this year to prevent people from congregating in confined areas and touching shared surfaces.
However, most elements such as hunting and fishing seminars, cooking demonstrations and boat and RV displays will continue, many of them outdoors.
“There’s going to be a lot of signage. We want folks to be mindful of their responsibility as they’ve done over these last 10-11 months to keep their distance,” Carskadon said. “As long as folks can do that, wear their masks, this will be a safe event.”
Attendance will be limited to 4,600 per day, about a 30% reduction from maximum capacity. Tickets could sell out during the usually crowded weekend portion of the show’s schedule.
Organizers encourage people to attend early during the show’s 4-day run March 11-14.