June 24, 2018
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Let the outdoor shows begin

Entries for the BDN’s “Original Ice Shack Contest,” which is being sponsored by Old Town Trading Post, continue to stream in. One intriguing contender: Scott Worden of Jackson’s boat-shaped shack, which he uses to fish on the “hard water.” Worden obviously had fun with the project: Note the porthole, which is actually a toilet seat.
By John Holyoke, BDN Staff

After a busy week of watching high school basketball, chasing vacationing kids, or toiling away at work, you might be ready for a break come next weekend.

The Penobscot Fly Fishers have provided you with just such an opportunity as they’ll host the annual Cabin Fever Reliever outdoor expo Feb. 26-27.

The show will be held at the Brewer Auditorium and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 26 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 27.

As you might expect from the show’s name, there will be plenty of diversions sure to make you forget about winter and start thinking about warm-weather recreational options.

The show marks the beginning of Maine’s outdoor show season, and a limited number of exhibitors and broad aisles help provide for a friendly, low-key atmosphere.

Amble from booth to booth, stop and chat with exhibitors (or other attendees), and you’ll likely burn an enjoyable hour or two talking about various outdoor endeavors.

Perhaps the best thing about the show: Admission, as always, is free.

The Penobscot Fly Fishers set up the Cabin Fever Reliever as an interactive, educational show. Vendors are allowed to sell their wares, but are also expected to offer some sort of hands-on or educational component at their booths.

The crew at BDN Outdoors is looking forward to the show, where we’ll visit as exhibitors for the first time.

Outdoors editor Jeff Strout will be on hand to talk about all things outdoors. Lifestyle editor Aimee Thibodeau may drop by. We’re hoping that Lifestyle reporter Aislinn Sarnacki, an avid hiker who has written several outdoor pieces in recent months, will also make an appearance or two. And I’ll be on hand all weekend.

So, what will you see if you stop by the Bangor Daily News booth?

I’m glad you asked.

First and foremost, we’ll be on hand to tell you what we’re up to — and to listen to your suggestions on what we ought to be up to. We’ll have a computer up and running to show you our still evolving Outdoors Web page, and will explain how show-goers and fellow exhibitors can get more involved in receiving (and providing) valuable content that will be seen by thousands of like-minded individuals.

Second, we’ll show a slide show all weekend that will likely knock your socks off.

It’s no secret that our BDN photographers are top-notch — just take a look at state and regional awards every year, and you’ll find the proof — and we’ve decided to tap into our vast library of BDN images to provide a special experience for show attendees.

Many of the images are breathtaking, and several of them are already award-winners. Our photo montage features shots from as far back as the 1950s, all the way up to the present.

If you want pictures of moose, we’ve got ’em. If hunting or fishing pique your interest, you’ll find some stellar shots. If you snowmobile or ski or snowboard, we’ve got you covered.

And if you just want to take a gander at vintage photos of Atlantic salmon fishermen (including baseball legend Ted Williams on many of his frequent visits to Maine), you’ll find that, too.

In all, we have more than 120 photos loaded and ready to show, and we’re looking forward to hearing your reaction.

If your reaction is the same as ours, you may decide that you can’t live without a copy of one or more photos. To that end, the night before the show, we’ll unveil those photos as a dedicated gallery on the BDN website, where it will remain, and where you can purchase any shots you want.

Finally, we’ll have a computer set up to show you the entrants in our BDN Original Ice Shack Contest, which wraps up on Feb. 28.

The entries for the contest, which is being sponsored by Old Town Trading Post, have been steadily streaming in, and we’ve received several prize-worthy photos thus far.

Up for grabs: a total of $2,000 in Old Town Trading Post gift certificates. Our winner will receive a $1,000 certificate while second place is worth $600 and third takes home $400.

Go to bangordailynews.com to enter, or send photos with a short essay (along with your address and phone number) to Original Ice Shack Contest, Bangor Daily News, PO Box 1329, Bangor, 04402-1329.

Hope to see you at the show!

Free fishing this weekend

You haven’t gotten around to buying your 2011 fishing license. Your kids are lobbying for a fishing trip during school vacation.

You’re sunk.

Or are you?

Thanks to an ongoing initiative of the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, people will actually be allowed to fish without a license on Saturday and Sunday.

Everyone’s eligible — as long as you’re not on the wrong side of the law and have had your license revoked or suspended — and all regular fishing regulations are in effect.

If you want to really make some family memories, you may want to take the kids and enter a fishing tournament during the Free Fishing Days: More than 20 fishing derbies are on tap around the state on this holiday weekend.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

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