Putting down some show notes from Saturday, my second day, at the Chicago Outdoor Sportsmen Show.
Yes, there were people. I left about 4 p.m. Saturday. Up until then, it had been a steady stream, most concentrated in the opening few hours.
The show runs through today at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
In my column today in the Sun-Times, I used the word buzz. And there was that buzz or hum of a good show. A buddy, who tends to be crotchety, used the word "vibrant."
It's a show smaller than previous ones, but better laid out and with the feel of a real live show.
Highlights included Cook County board president Toni Preckwinkle showing up in the afternoon for the official release of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County's new and revamped Fishing Guide.
That fishing guide is something wonderful, and the fisheries deserve a lot of credit. For that matter,so does Preckwinkle. I don't ever remember a Cook County board president showing up at the Rosemont Show, but maybe my memory is faulty.
Nick Tassoni--the 15-year-old who caught the Illinois-record walleye (14.75 pounds) from the Pecatonice River on Jan. 7--did a solid job in his first appearance as a speaker.
The crowd for him, a couple dozen, was less than I expected. The real disappointing crowd was to hear IDNR director Marc Miller discuss something really important, the state of the IDNR finances.
But overall, it felt like a live show, a real show.
Nice to bump into people as varied as "Green Acres Mike," even if his lunch spread had already been consumed, Spence Petros, Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass, and tons of failthful readers who stopped by the Heartland Outdoors booth to chat.
It was a day to hear and tell stories.
I was glad to be there both days.
It's a good foundation for the new owners to build and expand from.