FARGO – A pack of wolves invaded the Fargodome on Friday.
Don’t worry, the big furballs are in a cage.
The wolves and several other outdoor-themed exhibits are a part of the 50th annual Red River Valley Sportsmen’s show this weekend.
The show has evolved from a smaller event that started at the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse and then moved to the Fargo Civic Center.
“When the Fargodome was built, it finally gave us the opportunity to bring out as much product as we could,” said show manager Barry Cenaiko. “When you make a bigger show, you make a better show.”
Cenaiko took over running the show from his father, Nick Cenaiko, who ran the show for more than 40 years before he died in 2011.
“He’d be tickled pink … he was here to see the dome happen and he was here to see the show in it and he would just be so proud,” Cenaiko said.
The event features more than 400 exhibitors with products ranging from beef jerky, hunting equipment, boats and recreational vehicles to almost anything outdoors-related.
The show, which is expected to draw about 23,000 people, is the largest outdoor-themed event in North Dakota, Cenaiko said.
Wold’s RV Sales owner Jay Wold, 43, of Detroit Lakes, has attended the show for 42 years.
He remembers running around the show as a young boy when his father and mother had a booth. His father died, but his 75-year-old mother, Gretchen Wold, still comes out to the show every year.
“It’s kind of like a Sportsmen’s Show family,” Jay Wold said.
Wold now brings his two sons to the annual show, carrying on a family tradition.
“Wildlife Pursuit” TV’s Jeremy Elbert said the Sportsmen’s Show is a good way to interact with his program’s fans.
“Every fan or viewer that we chat with, they have some really inspiring stories of their own,” Elbert said.
“Wildlife Pursuit” is a hunting show available online or on cable or satellite.
As for the live wolf show, “We use them for educational purposes,” said Terri Petter , the director of Fur-Ever Wild. “They’re not the vicious killers that kill everything that some people think they are, but they’re not big fluffy puppy dogs.”
There were five wolves including four 2-year-old males and a female pup. The wolves are raised on a 100-acre farm in Lakeville, Minn., where Fur-Ever Wild has 32 wolves on its land, Petter said.
If you go
What: 50th annual Red River Valley Sportsmen’s Show
When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Info: Admission is $7.50 for adults, $2.50 for children 6-12 and free for children under 5.
The live wolf show is at noon, 2:30 and 6 p.m. today and 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.