Gun show is can't-miss event

Vendors, shows among attractions

Cortez Mayor Dan Porter shakes hands with Cortez Gun Show event manager Steve Blackwell after proclaiming the fourth week of April to be Southwest Colorado Sportsmen's Week. Enlargephoto

Ian MacLaren/Cortez Journal

Cortez Mayor Dan Porter shakes hands with Cortez Gun Show event manager Steve Blackwell after proclaiming the fourth week of April to be "Southwest Colorado Sportsmen's Week."

Think of a gun show and most likely, images of tables stocked with firearms and ammunition comes to mind.

Such tables will be only one piece of this year's Cortez Gun and Sportsman Show however, which will take place at the Montezuma-County Fairgrounds, April 25-27.

Promising to be one of the year's largest events, the show will feature something for everyone regardless of their age and interests.

Below are some of the features that will make this year's Cortez Gun and Sportsman Show a can't-miss experience.

A wide variety of products

Glancing at the vender list for the Cortez Gun and Sportsman Show, it becomes clear that this year's event will be about far more than just firearms.

More than 260 vendors, including Taxidermists, self defense educators, hotels, local car dealerships and even a hair salon will attend this year's event, which promises to be one of the most unique of its kind.

"This year's event will be far more than just a gun show," explained event organizer Steve Blackwell. "We're going to have boats, campers, car haulers and a variety of outdoor products."

Hard to get ammunition and a variety of firearms will also be available during the three-day show, which Blackwell hopes will attract between 6,000 and 8,000 people.

"We've got everybody from Avon to the military," said Blackwell. "It's not just a gun show anymore."

Car show and quick-draw demo

Adding to the excitement of this year's show will be an indoor car show and a quick draw demonstration.

According to Blackwell, more than 100 vehicles will be featured at the show, which will be the first of its kind in county history.

"It is going to be the first inside car show in Montezuma County history," said Blackwell. "People are excited to show off their cars."

A quick-draw demonstration, which will be put on by the "San Juan Shootist," also promises show attendees a unique experience.

"They will do quick-draw demonstrations and introduce the art of quick draw to the public," said Blackwell."

Local political candidates will attend

Also unique to this year's gun show will be the presence of several local political candidates, who will occupy booths and answer questions.

Among the candidates who plan to attend this year's event will be Montezuma County Sheriff candidates Dennis Spruell, Mike Steele and Steve Nowlin and Montezuma County Commissioner candidate, Jim Candelaria.

Any and every candidate that is running for office is welcome to get a table," said Blackwell. "I would really love to see some Democrats attend ."

Event will benefit community

Far more than only a moneymaking event, this year's Cortez Gun and Sportsman Show is all about the local community.

Several youth organizations and veterans' groups have been provided with free tables, the Montezuma-Cortez High School football team will handle parking, the local 4-H club will sell concessions and the Montezuma County Sherriff's posse will handle security.

Horseback rides will be offered by T Bar M Outfitters, fire engine rides will be offered by the Cortez Fire Department and a Rob Yates memorial table and several "Wounded Warriors" tables will also set up at the event.

Local hotels throughout the Cortez area will offer discounts to those in town for show, which promises to bring economic benefits restuarants and other local businesesses.

"We've really involved the local community," said Blackwell. "It's going to be a great event. Be sure to stop by."

For more information about the show or to reserve a table at the event, contact Blackwell at 970-749-9772 or 970-565-8300.