The World's Fishing Fair is less than a week away, and Bass Pro Shops and city of Springfield officials are in preparation mode for the event expected to draw hundreds of thousands of attendees.
The March 30-April 3 event at Bass Pro's flagship store is estimated to bring in an $80 million economic impact, according to an informational page set up by the city for the event. Attendance is projected at 500,000, said Cora Scott, the city's director of public information and civic engagement.
"We are going to have the greatest event in fishing right here," said Major League Fishing professional Kevin VanDam in a video shot outside the Springfield store promoting the fair.
Tents have been constructed around the Bass Pro store, and overflow parking lots have been set up around the city with plans for shuttles to transport attendees. The city also has released a traffic impact map showing a section on Campbell Avenue in front of Bass Pro will be the only roadway closed during the event.
Announced in February, the World's Fishing Fair marks a revival for the event last held at Bass Pro in 1988. Celebrating Bass Pro's 50th anniversary, the event will feature more than 200 exhibits from 150 manufacturers, $10 million worth of tackle within 500,000 square feet of event space and concerts, among other features, according to past reporting.
Bass Pro announced in a media alert yesterday that Gov. Mike Parson, Mayor Ken McClure, anglers including Bill Dance and Roland Martin and a B-2 Stealth Bomber flyover will be part of a kick-off ceremony for the event on March 30.
Mercy Springfield Communities is replacing its Mercy Clinic Family Medicine – South Creek building, located at 2711 S. Meadowbrook Ave., with a new building that is 1,500 square feet larger.