Hartford Boat Show celebrates 50th anniversary being produced by CMTA

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The Hartford Boat Show runs Jan. 17-20 at the new Earth Expo Center at Mohegan Sun.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary being produced by the Connecticut Marine Trades Association, the Hartford Boat Show is being branded as “HBS50” this year.

HBS50 will be featuring over 125 exhibitors and 400 watercraft. It started at The Hartford Armory in 1957 as an event produced by the Charter Oak Marine Dealers Association with approximately 15 dealers.

All available exhibit space in Mohegan Sun's new Earth Expo Center has sold out for the event and boats, exhibits and special sections will be featured in the center's ballroom, breakout rooms, and casino.

The 1970 Hartford Boat Show included 40 exhibiting companies, with all but one being based Connecticut.

Today, the show draws marine vendors from across the country, with approximately 82 percent of the 2019 exhibitors calling Connecticut their home.

Of those exhibitors in 1970, three have been exhibiting for the past 50 years and will be appearing once again in the show: Petzold's Marine Center of Portland, Capital Equipment in Manchester and Boat's Inc. from Niantic.

"Petzold's is extremely excited to be participating in the 50th Annual CMTA Boat Show as we have continuously displayed at all 49 prior shows and even earlier at the Charter Oak Dealers Association Shows,” said Petzold’s Marine Center president Bob Petzold in a statement. “We have been in several different locations over those years including the Hartford Armory, Civic Center and Convention Center but none more exciting that our move this year to its new location at Mohegan Sun.”

Evinrude has been a lead sponsor of HBS50 for more than a decade, and this year is joined by Helly Hansen and the Connecticut Port Authority leading the fleet of sponsors and exhibitors.

"While we certainly will be celebrating our 50 years of history, with many fun remembrances featured throughout the show, as the industry's organization we also always strive to keep the show fresh year after year," said CMTA executive director Kathleen Burns.

“In addition to our new location, this year we are welcoming over 23 new exhibitors and are launching some new show features such as the Welcome to Our Waters Workshop interactive learning section, new seminar topics, a Kids Cove, and an area dedicated to new boaters," Burns said.

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