The City of Williamson Parks and Recreation Commission is working with Pete Runyon and the Friends of the Tug Fork River to host a new event at the Williamson Field House. On Saturday, March 13, 2021 the first ever Southern WV Fishing Expo and Swap meet will be held from 9am - 7pm.
Thinking Outside the (Tackle) Box
Williamson Parks and Recreation Commission Executive Director Jarrod Dean tells us during the COVID-19 pandemic, like many others, he was forced to think outside the box and take a look at the assets around the area and figure out how to prop those up and diversify the use of the park facilities. “The field house has been the centerpiece for sports for so many years and will continue to be, and I believe on a much larger scale eventually,” Jarrod says. “However, we need to also start looking at the field house as a multi-purpose facility due to its size.” With the size of the Williamson Field House Jarrod believes it’s time to look at hosting other events such as trade shows, indoor festivals, large concerts, and more.
Over the past few years, Pete Runyon and the Friends of the Tug Fork River group have become ambassadors for all things Tug River related in our area. While looking to diversify the events at the Williamson Field House, river related events seems to be a natural fit. Jarrod says, “Working with Pete Runyon and the Friends of the Tug Fork River is an exciting experience for me. Pete is such an asset to this community and I am very excited to have him on board as a co-organizer.” Jarrod is quick to point out the fishing community and outdoors community in our area are a wonderful group of people that are passionate about our natural resources and they want to promote our area and its assets just as he does.
As for Pete he says he has wanted to see this type of event in our area for years and is glad to finally see it happen. “I’m praying for a great event,” he says.
This newly announced event is now accepting vendor applications for any one in the outdoors business sector. Jarrod says, “We’re looking for bait shop owners, entrepreneurs that make artificial bait, anyone that has a business that is associated with the sale of fishing gear or watercraft.” The cost for a 10 x 10 vendor space is $10.00 and a 10 x 20 space is $15.00. Vendors are asked to donate one item for a raffle during the event. For exact details, you’ll find the vendor application on the Williamson Parks and Recreation Facebook page, or contact Jarrod Dean at 304-785-7602. Vendor applications are due by March 10, 2021.
Admission to attend the Southern WV Fishing Expo and Swap meet is $5.00 and kids 10 and under are free.
Goals for 2021 & The Future
Jarrod has lofty goals for this event and the future of the Williamson Field House. “I hope to show that we have the ability to put together a successful large scale event and show the tri-state area that our venue can host many types of events and that people will want to rent our facility or be a part of any of our events that we organize. Our focus for 2021 is tourism and supporting the tourism industry. I certainly feel parks and recreation has a place at the table for those functions and we will be involved.”
On the subject of more possible collaborative river projects with the Friends of the Tug Fork group he says, “Trust me we have more that we are working on that we are so excited about. Stay Tuned!”
Click here to find the event page for the Southern WV Fishing Expo and Swap Meet.