The Big Horn Outdoor Adventure Show has been canceled as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state.
“I got up this morning and I was getting ready (when) I got this phone call,” said Wanda Clifford, the executive director of the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council. “We just shut your show down.”
The Big Horn Show, which is run by the INWC, was scheduled to start Thursday. More than 20,000 people were expected to come to the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.
“This is uncharted territory,” said Matt Mimnaugh, an INWC board member and the club’s treasurer. “This has been an annual show for 60 years.”
The show is the main money maker for the Spokane-based hunting and fishing club, bringing in between 80-90% of the club’s annual revenue.
“It’s huge,” Mimnaugh said. “It’s huge. We will be counting every penny. But, I want to stress that it’s not the death of the Big Horn show. It’s not the death of the INWC.”
The cancellation will also be a blow to the 225 vendors planning to be there, Clifford said. On Thursday, Oregon health official shut down the Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Show on the day it was scheduled to begin. Many of the vendors signed up for the Big Horn Show were already there, she said.
“For these guides and outfitters this is a big hit for them,” she said.
Clifford, who has been the executive director of the INWC for 13 years, will retire in a week. She hasn’t missed a Big Horn show in three decades. Although she supports the cancellation, she said it was tough news to hear.
“This show has been a massive thing and it has meant so much to us for over 30 years of our lives,” she said. “We’ve never known a year with out the show.”
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