Western New York Sport and Travel Expo welcomes families in Hamburg

Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 09, 2018

More than 150 vendors and outfitters from all over the world are taking over the Fairgrounds Event Center in Hamburg. The expo tries to have something for everyone in the family from fishing and hunting to homemade snacks and decorations.

Joe Netti, better known as Musky Joe, has been attending the expo for years. He operates a booth for his fishing shop, appropriately named Musky Joe's.

"I love kids," Musky Joe said. "I love to get them fishing equipment that the whole family can afford and get them out there to go fishing."

He does his best to introduce families, especially young children, to his favorite past time. Musky Joe sells $20 "grab bags" that are filled with $30-40 worth of bait and supplies. Each one comes with a free fishing rod. It makes a good starter kit for people trying to find a new hobby.

"If you can get these kids out there to go fishing, that means they're not going to be on the street corner doing something else," Musky Joe said. "That's my whole philosophy."

Aside from equipment, gear and accessories for outdoor activities, dozens of outfitters attend the expo showing off exotic trips and vacations.

"A lot of outfitters come because this is a great place to plan a trip that maybe you wouldn't be able to," Whitney Armbaldo, with Erie Promotions, explained. "Whether you want to plan a safari or a hunting trip in Alaska, there's a bunch of different options here."

One option a bit closer to Buffalo is Tom Rae Lodge. It's on Lake Nipissing in Ontario, Canada. That makes for about a five hour car ride from WNY.

"Well of course we have great fishing," Pam Negrinotti said at the Tom Rae Lodge booth. "But we also have things for the entire family. We have canoes, paddleboats, kayaks, in ground pool, hot tub."

The lodge offers special discounts at the expo. Negrinotti says it's a more affordable vacation, but a vacation that will create lasting memories.

"You're surrounded by tall pines and birch trees," she said. "The cottages are far apart and they're all looking at the water. It's so peaceful and relaxing. It's a true getaway."

The WNY Sport and Travel Expo runs through March 11. Tickets are $10 per person. Kids under 10 get in for free.

The expo is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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