New hours and an expanded showing from area boat distributors will highlight a few of the changes for this year's Grand Lake Boat & Sport Show.
Jay Cranke, executive director for the Grand Lake Association, said participants will see more boats representing five boat dealers at this show.
Those dealers include Grove Marine, Southwinds Marina, Ugly John’s, Indian Hills Marina and Blackbeard Marine/Dick Lanes.
"This year's theme is boats, boats and more boats," Cranke said. "We are happy to have been able to secure more boats for this year’s show.
"One dealer secured 4,000 more square feet this year, which eliminated 40 smaller booths from the floor plan."
Other changes at this year’s show, the 22nd Annual event hosted by the GLA, include new hours and moving VIP Night, which includes a first look at all the new boats and items from various other vendors and a nice array of food items, to Thursday from 5 to 8 pm.
Friday and Saturday hours take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., while Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cranke said the goal of adjusting the show hours and shifting VIP Night to Thursday is to help all boat dealers and vendors attending the show be more profitable.
“Our goal is to be open at the most opportune times for buyers to make their purchases,” he said.
Admission to Thursday’s VIP Night is $15. Admission Friday, Saturday and Sunday is $5 a day. Admission is free on Friday, March 8, for military and those 65-years-old and older. A limited number of tote bags will be available each day for those with a paid admission.
Tickets for the VIP night may be purchased at the Grand Lake Association or at the door on Thursday evening.
On a special note, Cranke said Omar the Grand Lake ring-tailed Lemur from Oasis Animal Adventures, will make an appearance at the show from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
"We are happy to have been able to secure more boats for this year’s show," Cranke said. "That was the main thing the boat show committee said they wanted after last year’s show and my staff delivered."
Cranke said he encourages everyone from the Grand Lake area and surrounding states in the market for a new boat or want to try something new this summer to check out the boat show. He said some vendors plan to have special pricing during the event.
Blazing B BBQ plans to serve as this year's concessions. They will be inside, and Cranke said there will be "ample seating" for those wanting to eat while at the show.
This year's sponsors include MidAmerica Outdoors, Grand River Dam Association, Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Casino Grove, Jeff Lungren Chevrolet, The Grove Sun, The Joplin Globe, The American/Grand Laker and Bank of Grand Lake. This year's show director is Kimberly Dry.