This roundup of upcoming shows and events includes news from the Progressive Insurance Mid-America Boat Show in Cleveland, the Seattle Boat Show, the Outdoorama sport show in Novi, Mich., a Sea Sense powerboating class for women in England and the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.
More than 2,000 pounds of food, which will be donated to the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, was collected Tuesday at the Progressive Insurance Mid-America Boat Show.
Admission was free Tuesday for all visitors who donated four cans of food.
“We collected more than 2,000 pounds and bolstered attendance on a weeknight,” show manager Ken Alvey said in a statement. “It was a real win-win promotion.”
The food drive was the first of three discount specials at the show, which runs through Sunday at the I-X Center in Cleveland.
At 5 p.m. today and Thursday the admission price will be dropped to $5 for Put-in-Bay Days, which will include entertainment from the Travelin’ Johnsons Wednesday night and Mike “Mad Dog” Adams, Ray Fogg and Westside Steve Simmons Thursday evening.
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The 65th annual Seattle Boat Show opens Jan. 27, and the 10-day show continues for two full weekends, until Feb. 5, at two locations: CenturyLink Field and South Lake Union.
The largest boat in the show is 90 feet, and the asking price is $3,950,000. That vessel and other luxury boats can be toured at South Lake Union. Attendees can cruise the show and pick from kayaks and dinghies small enough to fold and stuff into carry bags, plus dozens of brands of runabouts, fishing boats and inflatables for as low as $250 a month.
On display this year is Seabreacher — a submersible vessel designed to look like an Orca whale that can reach speeds of 55 miles an hour and is capable of "jumping" as high as 16 feet.
Those who wonder what it’s like to crew on a high-performance sailing boat can step up to the Harken “Coffee Grinder” at CenturyLink Field and test their speed and skill, turning the handles 20 times on a Harken winch to get the lowest time on the board and a chance to win sailing gear. The pedestal, like the ones used on racing sailboats, is carbon fiber and drives an 1111 winch, like those used in the last America’s Cup.
At the Build a Boat “Marina,” children will be given a plastic boat hull and can choose from buckets of accessories to glue onto and bling their boat. Children attending the Seattle show also can use the new Aqua Paddlers paddle boats.
The show offers 200 free seminars for boaters by boating experts.
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Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts are expected to visit the annual Outdoorama sport show Feb. 23-26 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich.
Anglers and hunters will find deals on boats and sporting gear, conservation education that includes nearly 100 free seminars, and family entertainment and features.
“Outdoorama is all about celebrating Michigan’s outdoors heritage while keeping in mind our responsibilities toward the environment,” show manager Adam Starr said in a statement. “That’s why the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, which started the show nearly 40 years ago, still plays a major role.”
Walleye pros Mark Romanack and Lance Valentine headline the Fishing Academy of veteran speakers, which include Mark Martin and muskie-fishing guide Don Miller.
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An eight-day powerboating boating class for women along the Thames River in England will be held June 9-16 by Sea Sense Boating School.
The course will take participants to some of the oldest towns and villages in the heart of the country. Sites include Oxford, with the gleaming spires of its many cathedrals, churches and university buildings, as well as Windsor Castle, which is still used as a royal residence.
Other stops may include Hampton Court Palace, Ascot Racecourse and the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.
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The Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, which has seen four consecutive years of growth in dealer attendance, is preparing to break new records in 2012.
The event will be held Nov. 11-14 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. This year's host hotels are the newly renovated Rosen Plaza Hotel and the Rosen Centre Hotel, both of which are adjacent to the convention center.
The process of building the event’s agenda will begin Feb. 1, when organizers will issue their annual request for presentations. It will continue later in the month with the start of the annual MDCE dealer survey regarding prospective attendees' educational goals for the event.
“Every year we have found ways to improve upon the opportunity that the MDCE offers dealers from across North America,” Rob Soucy, president of Port Harbor Marine and chairman of the MRAA's convention committee, said in a statement. “This year we expect to take the educational agenda to a new level and provide more best practices and greater expert advice than ever before.”
In 2012, the MDCE expo hall will be the largest in the event's history at more than 150,000 square feet, organizers said.
In 2011, MDCE was held at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando and attracted 471 dealer attendees, an increase of 1 percent, which contributed to a total of 947 attendees.
MDCE is produced by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Boating Industry magazine.