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Chicago show opens Thursday

The Progressive Chicago Boat, RV and Outdoor Show opens Thursday and runs through Monday at McCormick Place.

The show will include a special appearance by John Godwin, star of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” who will meet and greet fans from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

A Welcome to the Water Center will offer boating information and advice, boater education seminars and hands-on demonstrations.

The Fred’s Shed Interactive Learning Center will feature do-it-yourself seminars and workshops covering boat and motor maintenance, repairs and upgrades.

PaddleFest will offer free kayak, canoe and stand-up paddleboard trials daily in the pool. There will be scuba diving trials in another pool.

The six-time world champion Miss Geico Racing Team will introduce the latest Miss Geico offshore racing boat. The new boat is a 50-foot Victory catamaran made of carbon/kevlar. Weighing about 11,000 pounds, she is almost 1,500 pounds lighter than her predecessor and is equal in length. She has a 12-foot beam, which is 6 feet wider than the former boat; the extra width will allow her to ride smoother at faster rates of speed. Powered by 1075 Mercury racing engines, she has a top speed of 170 mph.

A Huck Finn Trout Pond will offer free fishing for children 12 and under.

An extensive seminar lineup will be held throughout the show.

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