By Megan Rule | Staff Writer
This coming weekend, family fun will mix with raising money for local youth at the Extraco Events Center’s annual South 40 Outdoor Expo, an event presented by Waco FunTown RV.
“As the number one towable RV dealer in the US, Fun Town RV looks forward to the opportunity to be a part of this great show in Central Texas every year,” Matt Lee, director of marketing at Waco FunTown RV, wrote in an email to the Lariat. “It allows us to showcase our new products and introduce our chain of dealerships to many new customers.”
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, the South 40 Outdoor Expo will take place at the Waco Extraco Events Center with free admission and free parking. Charva Ingram, vice president of marketing and sponsorship development at the Extraco Events Center, said the event has continued to build over the years. South 40 is a committee for the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo, and the South 40 committee wanted to create this event alone with the South 40 Trail in order to generate money for the Heart O’ Texas Scholarship Fund. Ingram said that to date, the committee has raised over $100,000 in scholarships for the youth of McLennan County and the surrounding areas.
“The Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo mission is to produce events for education, entertainment and agricultural experiences at the premier multi-use facility while giving back through youth scholarships and a positive economic impact to Central Texas,” Ingram wrote.
Money for the scholarships given to the youth in Central Texas is raised through a fishing tournament, sponsors and vendor and exhibitor fees at the event. A full event schedule for the weekend can be found online and will be updated as event start times are confirmed. In addition to the various events, there will be educational seminars on the stage in the Extraco Events Center.
The schedule includes a barbecue cook-off presented by Slovacek’s all day Saturday, a South 40 car and motorcycle showdown presented by Waco Towing on Sunday, various outdoor and indoor lifestyle exhibitors, a rock climbing wall, a bungee trampoline and a South 40 Shootout Fishing Tournament. Throughout the weekend, ATV Test Track sponsored by Waco Motor Sports will offer ATV rides onsite, and Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram will offer test drives for Ram, according to Ingram.
“Any time that we business owners can bring activities to Waco that are fun, entertaining and have value, I think it’s important that we do that,” Ted Teague, general manager of Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, said. “I’ve been involved with the South 40 Outdoor Expo for five years, and I’ve watched it grow each and every year, it’s a huge fun two-day family event.”
Ingram said exhibitors apply to be at the event. Applications are screened to make sure they are a good fit for the family-friendly atmosphere as well as a good fit for the outdoor theme. The exhibits include RVs, ATVs, boats, kayaks, fishing gear and outdoor gear.
“We are most looking forward to seeing lots of families and smiling faces enjoying this event,” Ingram wrote. “There are lots of great free activities for kids such as catch and release in a live fish tank thanks to Cabela’s, bungee trampoline, climbing rock wall, face painting, and much more.”