After a year off due to COVID-19, 3i Show returns

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
After a year off due to COVID-19, the annual 3i Show returned to Western State Bank Expo Center in Dodge City on Thursday. The industrial and manufacturer show will run through Saturday.

The 2021 3i Show will feature the latest in irrigation, implements and industrial equipment, product advancements and innovations and agricultural health.

The 2021 show will also be the return of the 3i Show as the 2020 show was canceled at the last second in March 2020 when COVID-19 began to spread rapidly in the U.S.

The show kicked off Thursday and will run through Saturday at Western State Bank Expo Center in Dodge City.

This year's event began with American Legion Post 47 Honor Guard of Dodge City holding a Posting of the Colors and a gun salute honoring all veterans during the opening ceremonies Thursday.

Members of the American Legion across the state Kansas led the opening ceremony of the 3i Show with a Posting of the Colors and gun salute honoring veterans.

Led by 3i Show president Eddie Estes, a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the 3i Show along with community members and agricultural leaders.

In speaking of the opening ceremony, Estes said, "We are blessed to have this kind of service and we are going to make this a tradition at the show. I think it's critically important that we do that.

"We want to welcome all of you to the show, and we're looking forward to three great days and this is our 66th show."

According to Estes, there are 300 brands attending this year.

Coming back after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Estes said the WKMA is pleased to have the show operational under all the conditions with which it's been faced.

Regarding those that signed up for the 2020 3i Show, Estes said they would "roll them over into next year or their money back, and we did.

"We have companies in there and we had to space them out and its hell of a deal. So overall, we're really pleased to have it and the next couple of days we still got some really neat things."

Since 1953, the 3i Show has been promoting industry, implements, irrigation and manufacturing in western Kansas.

Previously a traveling caravan with 10 local manufacturers, vendors would drive to towns and set it in a location until it started to grow.

Members of the traveling caravan would load their products and display them on trucks in each town they stopped in.

Since then it has grown to become the largest exposition in the state of Kansas.

Up until 2012, the show had continued to travel annually until it found a permanent home in Dodge City.

This year's show will also feature the first-ever bull sale at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Special Events Arena by Sutphin Cattle Company.

The sale will feature 30 2-year-old bulls with five different breeds — Charolais, Red Angus, Angus, Sim Angus and Lim-Flex.

Bulls will be on display all three days of the show and will have been trich and fertility tested.

At 3 p.m. Friday in the Presentation Area, Ty Patton, general counsel and auctioneer at McCurdy Auction, will hold a presentation called “Untangling the Confusion Surrounding Kansas Agricultural Leases,” about the hidden ins and outs of Kansas rural leases.

An attendee of the 3i Show will have a shot at winning a $500 credit for design fees for a new home, commercial or agricultural construction project by Williamson Architecture.

One winner will be drawn at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Williamson Architecture booth.

Registration for the $500 credit began at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Among presentations by vendors will be Production + Plus Irrigation Well Rejuvenation owner and operator Dave Nash, who will introduce information to attendees on “the most economical way to get more water.”

Other presentations will be from Fairbank Equipment showcasing its SureFire QuickDraw 3000 trailer with on-demand demonstrations throughout the three-day event; a Blattner Feedlot Construction & Livestock Equipment demonstration featuring its 110 and 220 Hydraulic Squeeze Chutes as well as “The Duke” Portable Wheel Corral and power line safety demonstrations will be held by the Victory Electric Cooperative, Pioneer Electric Cooperative, and Wheatland Electric Cooperative, among many others.

The 3i Show will have COVID-19 protocols in place, such as:

• Hand-sanitizing stations across the show grounds.

• Face masks/coverings available at the 3i SHOW Office and Information Booth.

• Enhanced cleaning efforts with extra attention to high-traffic areas.

• Encouraged social distancing procedures during the event.

• Exhibitors will be placed with extra space per exhibit to follow social distancing guidelines.

• Exhibitors and attendees are responsible for providing and utilizing their own personal protective equipment.

• Face protection/face coverings are not required at this time per WSBE and Ford County guidelines. While not required, it is recommended to wear face protection, social distance and wash and sanitize hands frequently.

• Expo entrances/exits will be arranged so that exhibitors and attendees are not in close contact with each other. Loitering in these areas is strictly prohibited.

• Seating for the Special Events Arena and the Presentation Area will be spaced in such a way as to facilitate social distancing.

• The Presentation Area will be moved toward the back of the expo center on the concrete side to allow for a larger presentation space.

For further information, visit the 3i Show website at www.3ishow.com.

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@gannett.com.