Annual boat show gears up for spring, celebrates 30th year

Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009

Juneau's annual boat show stemmed from humble beginnings. What started as a simple garage sale three decades ago grew into what people expect today: an annual boat and sports show boasting products, companies and services from all over the region.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

The boat show, presented by the Glacier Valley Rotary, has more than 30 vendors and exhibitors this year. Charlie Williams, co-chair of the Boat and Sports Show committee, said it's a good time for Juneau residents to start thinking about warm weather activities.

"This is the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It's time to start thinking about catching fish and doing outdoor activities," Williams said. "Exhibitors at the show will be very supportive in those endeavors."

The show kicks off its 30th year on Friday at Centennial Hall, with the doors opening at 4 p.m. It will run through Sunday.

Williams also said the show is a bit smaller this year due to the struggling economy, but there is an upside, he said, because visitors to the show are certain to find some good deals on otherwise expensive gear.

"This is a better year for deals than there has been in a long time," Williams said. "Talk to representatives in the industry and see what they can do for you."

The show will not only cater to sports enthusiasts, but it will also raise funds for Glacier Valley Rotary, which relies solely on public donations and fundraising to fuel their community service efforts.

"This is our major fundraiser," said Craig Dahl, president of the Glacier Valley Rotary and chief executive of Alaska Pacific Bank. "The funds raised don't have a single target, but ... gives us the means for the rest of the year."

In addition to vendors and products, visitors to the show also can expect educational seminars on boater insurance, weather in Southeast Alaska, cold water survival and the docks and harbors in Juneau. There will also be hourly ticket drawings to give away items donated by each vendor and by Rotarians. Tickets are $5 at the door for adults and are valid for the full three days of the show. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free of charge.

Sponsors of this years show include Alaska Airlines, Temsco Helicopters, Wings of Alaska, Princess Tours, KJNO/TAKU 105, KINY/KSUP, Capital City Weekly and the Juneau Empire.

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