Fishers, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and families looking to spend a weekend with like-minded individuals will have the opportunity to do so in August with the Etowah Wildlife Expo.

The free exhibition is from Aug. 21 to 22 at The Mill on Etowah, and will bring animal exhibits, expert demonstrations, live entertainment, and shopping to Canton.

Dana Cox, event coordinator and project manager with Penn Hodge, said she’s marketed the event throughout the southeast because there aren’t many events like this in Georgia, and that it will be a good opportunity to showcase the community and Etowah River.

The scheduled events and activities will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 21, and will run until 5 p.m. The schedule will be the same the next day. Cox said that, on both days, the stage will feature various demonstrations and Q-and-A panels.

Cox said the schedule, which is still in the works, will feature a falconry show, retriever exhibition, reptile show, float fishing presentation on the Etowah River, and bass fishing demonstrations. The weekend event will also feature live music, a wildlife art show on the mill’s second floor, and over 40 vendors related to wildlife and the outdoors. The demonstrations and exhibitions will finish around 5 p.m., but the live music and shopping will continue until about 9 p.m. Aug. 21, Cox said. Activities the next day will end around 5 p.m., with no live music and shopping after, Cox said.

The event will also feature a display of boats and RVs, food trucks, a Big Door Vineyards wine tent, and a carnival-themed kids zone put together in partnership with Liberty Hill UMC.

The kids zone will feature arts and crafts, games, face painting, and inflatables, Cox said. There will be a $10 fee to enter, and the wrist band given out will give access to the zone for the entire day.

The event is hosted by The Mill on Etowah in partnership with the Georgia Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on conservation, education, cooperation, and promotion of natural resources and wildlife.

There will be a fundraising dinner for the Georgia Wildlife Federation later that Saturday night at Timbers on Etowah, with proceeds going towards the federation, Cox said. For tickets to the dinner, email info@etowahmill.com.

The Friday before the Etowah Wildlife Expo begins, there will be a live-streamed podcast taking place at the mill by retail fishing gear shop Fish North Georgia. The livestream will be a part of the retail store’s weekly podcast series, which can be found on its YouTube channel. The episode will be presented on the stage at the mill the night of Aug. 20.

“Every Thursday night on our YouTube channel we present an interactive live broadcast where we bring in anglers and related guests to interview and let the viewers ask them questions,” said Danny Pruitt, co-owner of Fish North Georgia. “We will bring our setup to the mill for an episode so we can interview some of the vendors and exhibitors.”

Pruitt said Fish North Georgia will also have a booth that Saturday and Sunday to showcase fishing boats, as well as some of the products sold at the company’s online store and its physical store in Marble Hill. Pruitt added that there will also be panels put together by Fish North Georgia, where he will interview local anglers and give them five to 10 minutes to answer questions from the audience.

Cox said she believes this could become an annual regional event, and that she hopes it could become a city-wide event, using other parks and open spaces in Canton.

The Mill on Etowah is at 225 Reformation Parkway in Canton. For more information and to check for an updated schedule, visit www.etowahwildlifeexpo.com. The event is no longer accepting new sponsors.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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