TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – News Channel 8’s Outdoors Expo and Boat Show is happening at the Florida State Fairgrounds this weekend.
With two more days until the grand opening of the expo, vendors scrambled Wednesday to fill up the Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.
“The great thing about coming to a show like this is you have the opportunity to come one place and see literally dozens of boat lines. You would have to travel all over the Bay area to see the boats you will see here in this one place,” show manager Jim Scilligo said.
The show has been a Tampa tradition for a quarter of a century, and Schilligo says the event has something for men, women and children.
“A lot of the kids that come here, their parents don’t fish, and this is a great opportunity for them to have that experience of fishing. So when you come here on Saturday or Sunday, this entire lake will be surrounded by kids and they will be stationed all along the lake fishing for about an hour and a half each and then we will turn it over and have more kids fish again,” Schilligo said.
One of the non-boat vendors setting up shop on the first day was Dave “Big Wave” Reidenbach who travels the country educating people about scuba diving. Reidenbach travels with what is allegedly the world’s largest mobile scuba diving pool, which holds 15,000 gallons of water. He also provides scuba diving equipment, and the experience is free of charge to customers.
“Basically we are going to suit you up, get you in the water and let you breathe underwater, take your photo that’s uploaded from our Facebook page and just have a fantastic time,” Reidenbach said.
Vendors will be setting up through Friday when the gates open to the public at 1 p.m.
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