Longview hosts annual expo

By Bob Hallmark - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Its a giant "toy store" for anyone who loves off-roading, fishing and "R-V-ing" and it's going on for the next three days in Longview, and we got to play with all the latest and greatest toys on display.

It's the "27th Annual East Texas Boat, RV and Camping Expo," and organizers said this could be their most important show ever.

Boats, boats, boats , RV's, RV's, off-road, motorcycles, ATV's, fish and even tigers?

Everything and the kitchen sink, in what many say is the biggest expo they've ever put on.

"We're not only thinking it's going to be a big weekend but a great year. People are looking at R-V-ing as a way to get away without spending all the money on flights and hotels," said David Murphy with Hayes RVs.

Many come for the new and exciting.

"How much better can they make them? How much prettier can they get them? How much faster can they go," asked Ellis Kirby with R & R Marine. "This year people want to consider getting a boat and what we're calling it is staycation, and you can use the boat all year for not near the money that you spend on one big trip."

Some RV's need their own zip code. They have living rooms with sofas and rockers, spacious bedrooms and even entertainment centers. Now that's camping!

"Flat screen tv's [that are] HD compatible which is a big thing right now," said Murphy.

Some see RV's as another vacation alternative in this tight economy.

"You've got your luggage to carry with you different hotels same as in a car but if you're in an RV, you've got it right there with you, said Henderson shopper, Linda Welch.

And after you've had your fill of seeing boats and RV's and ATV's, you can get a rare treat - white tigers and their cubs. They're playful and they have really sharp claws.

"You get to see animals like fish and tigers," said eleven year old Adrienne Horne.

You can still go to the expo tonight until eight. Then from nine to eight Saturday, and from ten to five Sunday at Maude Cobb Activity Center. An adult weekend pass is six dollars. Tickets for kids ages six to twelve are just one dollar. Kids five and under get in free.