Lovers of outdoor activities can head indoors next weekend as Rocking M Radio's Winter Expo once again fills the Western State Bank Expo Center, January 19-21.
The Winter Expo isn't all about outdoors. Josh Roesener, Rocking M general manager, said the event is essentially several trade shows in one - encompassing items from cooking to camping, and cars to clothes.  
This will mark the sixth year for the expo and Roesener said it's always a satisfying experience to bring to the area. A bounce house and vendors with goods geared toward kids will make the event all-inclusive.
"It's about bringing an event to town that the whole family can enjoy," Roesener said.
The gun and knife exhibits are generally the biggest draw, according to Roesener. The free admission is a big incentive for vendors as it means large crowds.
"We expect 8,000-10,000 visitors over the weekend," Roesener said. "We open up registration in mid-September and people start signing up right away. The visitors and vendors always come and leave happy."
Many of the vendors return year after year, but Roesener said there are always new vendors to add to the variety of displays on hand.
In addition to the vendors, the event will feature performances by the Little Feet Dance Academy and the Dodge City Diamonds on Sunday. The Long Branch Variety Show from Boot Hill Museum will also put on a presentation.
Roesener said another big draw is always the exhibits of classic and collector cars. DC Classics will have at least 20 vehicles on display, plus about a dozen tricked-out motorcycles. The club will again raise money for Pets Miracle Network as visitors will donate through their votes for favorite vehicles.
Visitors will also have the chance to enjoy area singer/songwriters with performances by Buckner Creek and the Fulton Street Band out of Garden City. Roesener said talks are still in the works with additional performers.
Roesener said the exhibits and vendors will be a broad menagerie for visitors to enjoy. Recreational vehicles and lawn and garden equipment will be on display, in addition to tools, home improvement, cosmetics and apparel. Visitors can enjoy snacks or lunch with food vendors including crowd-favorite funnel cakes, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and barbecue.
While the WSB Expo Center is a large space, Roesener said it's always a logistical challenge dealing with the wide array of exhibitors and vendors. RVs take up space, food vendors have to be staged properly, tables and chairs by the hundreds need to set up, and space for performances and cars needs to be allotted.
"Getting over a hundred people with their own business all going the right direction can be challenging," he said. "We have definitely filled it up but as big as the building is, it's small enough that everybody that comes to the show can look at everything."
The Winter Expo will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

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