By Jim Misunas
Shawn McReynolds has a vision of Great Bend being a mecca of outdoor activity this summer.
The inaugural Bottoms Up Outdoor Showcase is scheduled for June 15-17 in the Expo I and II buildings west of town. The weekend will be highlighted by a pair of concerts.Vendors include waterfowl, deer, turkey hunting and fishing. Hunting and outdoor seminars will be featured during the three days.
“This will be a community event to promote the hunting and outdoor resources that this area has to offer,” McReynolds said. “There will be kid activities that include gun safety, shooting instruction, shotgun shooting and horse riding.”
Admission is $8. Promoters believe the showcase will attract an estimated 10,000 people in three days. Some booths cater to children and women.
McReynolds is working full-time to promote his passion after leaving his position at the Larned State Hospital. His outdoors hobbies of hunting and selling blinds and camouflage has expanded into a full-time job.
“I’ve always had a passion for the outdoors and have thought about how to sponsor an outdoor showcase for several years,” he said.
McReynolds made his vision a reality after meeting last fall with Vance and Marcus Montgomery from Montgomery Productions in Adair, Okla. The Montgomerys sponsor similar outdoor shows in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Adair, Okla. and Fort Smith, Ark.
“After I visited with them, I knew we could do this. We are partnering up with them until the show gets more established,” McReynolds said. “They’ve been successful at it. They’ve been great partners.”
McReynolds’ biggest change from Montgomery’s shows was adding musical entertainment.
“Adding the concert concept will make it an exciting event,” said Vance Montgomery. “We want to make it fun and educational. It should make the city some dollars and be something that is fun and exciting for everybody.”
A June 15 rock concert priced at $10 will feature Second Nature. Second Nature, based in Hutchinson, performs classic rock songs. Groups featured are AC/DC, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Cheap Trick, Poison and Rick Springfield. Newer songs by a lead vocalist feature Black-Eyed Peas, Buck Cherry, Lady Gaga, Katie Perry and Pink.
A June 16 concert priced at $30 will feature Keith Burns and Michelle Poe as a warm-up act. The featured artist will be Craig Morgan, whose hit country songs include “International Harvester,” “This Ain’t Nothing,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” and “This Ole’ Boy.” Morgan is featured on the Outdoors Channel show “Craig Morgan, All Access Outdoors.”
A special event planned is a Professional Bull Riding benefit June 15 that will help Claflin’s Bryce Moran, who was injured last fall in a collision between a motorcycle and a golf cart. Moran sustained dislocated vertebra in his neck and nerve damage and sees specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Special guests include some characters from the History Channel show “Swamp People,” which follows Louisiana alligator hunters.
The Bottoms Up Outdoor Showcase continues to be a work in progress. McReynolds hoped to sponsor duck and goose calling contests, but they have been canceled.
For information, call McReynolds (620) 282-3653 or e-mail Shawn@bottomsupks.com.
Featured seminars include:
• Joella Bates, Big 5 of Africa, archery seminar.
• Steve Conover, hunting/country singer.
• Buck Gardner, duck calling 101.
• Heath Getty, Hoyt Archery, exhibition archery.
• Dave Langston, Idaho fishing.
• Brian Magee, Fired Up Outdoors, deer hunting.
• Chris Reed, winner of Discovery Channel’s Top Shot 2.
• Kevin Reese, Texas outdoor writer, hog seminar.
• Swamp People, Louisiana, alligator hunting.
• Synthia Wilson, Women in the Outdoors.
• Shannon Young, 100,000 Kids in the Outdoors.
• Scott Young, LaSada Sporting Clays, hunting dogs.