CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Cabela's officials say the much-anticipated grand opening of their new Charleston store will feature four days' worth of celebrity appearances, giveaways and drawings."It's going to be a pretty full four days," said Chris Walls, the Charleston store's special events coordinator.The grand opening will kick off Aug. 9 at 11 a.m., when the doors to the 80,000-square-foot facility officially open to the public. The first 100 customers who enter the doors will all receive a prize."Customers will also be able to register for special prizes," Walls said. "The grand prize will be a Coleman side-by-side UTV with trailer, and a camping package. We'll also have drawings for a couple of Cabela's gift cards."
Tom Nelson, host of the American Archer television show and a member of Cabela's Pro Staff, will serve as master of ceremonies for the opening.Nelson won't be the only celebrity there. Walls said Travis "T-Bone" Turner and Nick Mundt of the popular "Bone Collector" TV show will be on hand to meet and greet customers from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.Kanawha Valley native Jeremy Starks, a two-time winner on the Bassmaster Elite Series bass-fishing circuit, is scheduled to meet with customers between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m."Those are the high-profile celebrities for the first day," Walls said. "Of course, Cabela's chief executive officer and chief operating officer will also be there, and will speak."
Outside, in the store's expansive parking lot, customers will be able to go through exhibits set up in four trailers."The UPS NASCAR simulator will be there, and so will the [Division of Natural Resources'] laser hunting simulator," Walls said. "Parker Bows and Gore-Tex will have their promotional trailers there, too."The grand opening will continue on Friday, Aug. 10, with American Archer's Nelson meeting the public between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and professional bass fisherman Bill Lowen on hand from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m."The trailers will be out in the parking lot on Friday, too," Walls said.
Event organizers expect Saturday, Aug. 11, to be the busiest day of the four-day celebration, mainly because more people shop on weekends. The celebrity and activity count will increase accordingly:* Melissa Bachman, host of the North American Hunter television show, is scheduled to appear between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.* Josh and Rachelle Hedrick, fly-fishing experts from North Fork Cabins in Grant County, will appear in the Fly Shop area from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Curtis Fleming and Greg Hall of the Fly Rod Chronicles TV show are supposed to make an appearance there, too.
* Wally Marshall, a renowned crappie angler, will be present in the Fishing area between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.* Ish Monroe, a longtime veteran of the Bassmaster Elite bass-fishing series, will appear from noon to 2 p.m.* Bill Lowen will reprise his Friday appearance from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.The store's various departments will also be filled with representatives of local and national hunting, fishing and conservation organizations."We'll have representatives from the NRA, Trout Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, the West Virginia Bowhunters Association, the West Virginia Bass Federation, the West Virginia Wildlife Federation, the West Virginia Hunter Education Association, the Putnam County Gun Club and the Hatfield-McCoy Trail," Walls said.Trout Unlimited members will conduct fly tying and fly-casting demonstrations, and Bowhunters Association members will help young people try their hands at archery.
"And, of course, all the trailers from the first two days will be there on Saturday," Walls said.Sunday's schedule isn't quite as intense. Bachman, the Hedricks and Marshall will meet the public between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. All of the organizations present on Saturday are expected to be there Sunday, too.Reach John McCoy at 304-348-1231, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.