Rachel's Ramblings
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 Hi readers!

My name is Rachel Riffel and I am the blogger for visitSI!  From here on out I will be rambling about anything and everything going on in beautiful Williamson County.  I am thrilled to be writing our first ever blog entry (this is also my first experience with blogging so go easy on me) about our very own annual event that we host here at the Pavilion in Marion each February: The Southern Illinois Boat and Fishing Show!  I have been with visitSI for just shy of a year now, and I am excited to be a part of this event for the first time.  Our boat show falls on Super Bowl weekend each year, (don’t worry football fans, we close-up shop early on Sunday just in time for you to catch the game) making the dates for this years’ show Friday, February 2nd from 3pm – 8pm, Saturday the 3rd from 9am – 7pm and Sunday the 4th from 10am – 3pm.  This year is the boat show’s 11th year, and we are expecting a great turn out for the event.  In past years, the boat show has drawn anywhere from 9,000 to 11,000 guests for the weekend.  A couple of pretty awesome features about our show is that admission is FREE and ALL proceeds go to charity!  That’s right folks. Proceeds will benefit the Youth Outdoor Education Foundation and Gum Drops, NFP.  Each year we also collect canned goods and non-perishable food items that we give to charity as well.  In the Wind Ministries will be collecting them on our behalf this year.  So, what can you expect to see at our show? Our extensive list of vendors guarantees that there will be something for everyone!  This event includes boat and tackle vendors from all over the Midwest and we have unique vendors like Scentsy and Origami Owl lined up as well.  Who doesn’t want a chance to win free stuff?  Friday night from 3pm – 7pm each half-hour we will be drawing for door prizes!  The fun doesn’t stop there.  Saturday, the SIU Bassers will have a bass fishing seminar at 10am and 2pm, and again on Sunday at 11am.  Saturday, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge will give us an update on new improvements to the refuge, details about the fisheries and lakes, and a Q and A session to address any other questions you might have.  What would an event be without some live entertainment?  Enjoy musical talents on Saturday from 3:30pm – 5:30pm.  If you get a little hungry, concessions will be available to purchase from Martini Joe’s.  Snag a burger and continue to enjoy the show.  All of us here at visitSI have been preparing for the boat show for a while now, and we are excited to see it come to fruition.  For more information or if you have any questions pertaining to the boat show/want to be a future vendor, you can reach any one of us at our office at 618-997-3690 or shoot me an email at info@visitsi.com.  Thanks for reading my first rambling, and we’ll see you at the show!