RV and boat show still a go

The region’s first — and so far, only — RV and boat show of 2021 is confirmed for Feb. 26 through 28 at the Allen County War Memorial coliseum. Organizer David Marquart says the All American Outdoor Expo is not only Fort Wayne’s first big show, but it’s the only one of its kind in the entire region.

“All the boat shows and RV shows have been cancelled in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Indianapolis, parts of Illinois and Ohio and all of Michigan. We were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to adjust our dates and plan this show for Fort Wayne. We have expanded our plans, rented more space and will host even more exhibitors and guests than before,” Marquart said.

“Our show is now 130,000 square feet — over three acres under roof — which has allowed us to include everybody, spread people out safely and make this show happen,” Marquart said.

“The RV, boating and powersport industries are very important to our region’s economic recovery,” Marquart said. “As the only RV and boat show currently scheduled for the tri-state area in 2021, this Expo will give these important companies a safe opportunity to show the public their latest innovations for family recreation.”

Exhibits at the All American Outdoor Expo will include 50,000 square feet of RVs, 25,000 square feet of boats, plus ATVs, golf carts, motorcycles, fishing, camping, paddle sports, patio and deck furnishing, lake lifestyles and more. There will be free live fishing for kids, and local entertainer Joe Justice will perform throughout the weekend.

Artist Paul Moon will demonstrate speed chainsaw carving. Beth Wood of Indiana Wild will offer hands-on seminars featuring rescued animals. Friends of Soarin’ Hawk will have presentations about birds of prey.

Marquart said the show will go on thanks to improving COVID reports in Allen County and Governor Holcomb’s lightened pandemic restrictions. Marquart also credited the coliseum’s extraordinary work to ensure a clean, safe event for all ages.

In January, the coliseum received STAR accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council. The award is the gold standard for prepared facilities and recognizes that the coliseum has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in every part of the facility.

“The show is possible due to collaboration between show management, exhibitors, and our venue staff,” said Randy L. Brown, executive vice president and general manager of the Allen County War Memorial coliseum. “Everyone is working together to provide a safe environment for guests to enjoy the activities in compliance with state and local health guidelines. This collaboration includes everyone wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing and sanitizing.”

The All American Outdoor Expo is the 66th annual edition of the former  Sport, Vacation and Boat Show. Advance tickets are available at the coliseum box office and online at ft wayneallamericanoutdoor expo.com.

Tickets will also be available at the door on all three days of the Expo. Military will receive discounted admission. Children under 16 are free.