Experience the outdoor lifestyle on Saturday.The South Carolina Outdoor Expo, featuring the "Swamp People," will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the USC Aiken Convocation Center, 375 Robert Bell Parkway.A family-friendly event geared toward the hunters and fishermen of Aiken, the Outdoor Expo will feature a diverse array of booths and vendors sporting the latest in outdoor products."The diversity (of products) will meet everybody's needs, plus we'll have the 'Swamp People,'" said Butch Roberson, owner of Carolina Outdoors and Golf Cars, the title sponsor.Father-and-son duo Troy and Jacob Landry star in History's "Swamp People," a show where History follows swampers through a 30-day alligator hunting season.The Landrys will meet and greet fans at the expo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be available for a photos and autographs. Be sure to bring a camera, and the Landrys will autograph one item per ticketholder."We have ordered tons of 'Swamp People' T-shirts to buy at the expo and have signed," Roberson said.Due to the overwhelming response from the community for the "Swamp People" meet and greet, advance ticket sales are sold out, said event coordinator Debra Price.A limited number of tickets will be available for $8 at the Convocation Center box office the day of the event. Children 3 and younger will be admitted free."The response has been overwhelmingly positive from sponsor and vendor participation to pre-ticket sales pushing 2,000. There are seven sponsors and 30-plus booth vendors, as well as exciting activities for children and teens," Price said. "We encourage families to bring their children and introduce them to positive role models in the outdoor arena, as well as experiencing hands-on attractions geared specifically to their age group."The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is bringing its TOMO Heritage Trailer. TOMO, which stands for Take One Make One, is designed to teach safe hunting practices to students who have no previous outdoor hunting experience, according to SCDNR.The TOMO Heritage Trailer will give kids the opportunity to experience shooting sports and the outdoors through the use of video simulators and hands-on air rifle ranges."Our goal is to make this a true outdoor experience for children and adults," Price said.Hootie's Outdoors Inc. will have combination fishing/archery equipment on display and an archery ranch for kids."We want to introduce kids to archery, using a Genesis bow," said Lenny Atkinson, Hooties Outdoors co-owner. "It's based on the National Archery in the Schools Program. We'll have targets set up and have the kids line up and shoot bows. Each kid that shoots can sign up for a raffle. We've giving away two Genesis bow packages."The U.S. Army National Guard is bringing a Humvee and video game ops station for kids, and residents will be able take a spin on a Harley with Harley Davidson of Augusta's Jump Start Simulator.Also, educators from the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center will be on hand with live owls to educate participants about area animals."Our title sponsor, Carolina Outdoors, as well as the Aiken Standard, are extremely excited to be the platform for bringing this inaugural outdoor 'experience' to Aiken," Price said.An outdoor expo seems a natural fit for the Aiken community, Roberson said."There will be everything from guns and lawn mowers, to hunting and fishing equipment and tractors," Roberson said. "We really want to put an emphasis on the outdoor lifestyle."For more information, visit www.scoutdoorexpo.com.
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