Missouri River Outdoor Expo To Showcase Recreation, Sports And More  

PONCA – Make plans to attend the 13th Annual Missouri River Outdoor Expo scheduled for this weekend at Ponca State Park.

In year’s past the Expo has brought in on average 52,000 people and over 26 schools join in on the 90+ hands-on activities. The 2017 Missouri River Outdoor Expo will hold their events this Saturday and Sunday, September 16-17 in Ponca from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day.

Ponca State Park Event Coordinator, Lynn Mellick said the first change is guest parking.

“They’ll actually be parking on our riverfront this year,” said Mellick. “We have a huge meadow in the backside of our riverfront that goes back towards our back waters. They did an aerial, grid it out, and decided it will accommodate all of our guest parking.”

A few of the new Expo attractions include a ropes obstacle course, bee-keeping, science experiments, bats, family outdoor cooking and more including a friendly competition between para-Olympian Matt Stutzman & world archer Randy Oitker.

Mellick added that both have been secretive about their planning.

“But they’re going to be doing a little twist on their shows this year,” Mellick added. “They’re going to a friendly competition between the two of them and that will take place once each day (3 p.m.).”

Those who attend the Expo will be able to try a variety of outdoor activities, including archery, kayaking, fishing and more. The Expo will also include live wildlife exhibits, exhibition shooting, a canine aquatics competition and a lumberjack show. All activities are offered at no cost.

Events in which guests can also participate in include the 5th Annual Kid’s Cook-Off, 4th Annual Bob’s Burger Eating Contest and 2nd Annual Smoke on the River BBQ Challenge.

Prizes are awarded in each of the contests.

The Missouri River Outdoor Expo is the largest outdoor expo in the Midwest. Attendance reached 45,000 in 2016 thanks to the generosity of sponsors and over 900 volunteers.

A valid park permit is required to enter Ponca State Park as permits may be purchased at the gate for $6 per Nebraska licensed vehicle and $8 for out-of-state licensed vehicles. For more information, call Ponca State Park at 402-755-2284 or visit ngpc.moriverexpo@nebraska.gov.

The Missouri River Outdoor Expo is an opportunity for people of all ages to connect with the outdoors through hands-on activities, educational exhibits, vendor displays and featured entertainment.

“Everyone loves the camaraderie, the friendly faces,” Mellick mentioned. “People are just really here to get outside and experience the outdoors, to many, in new facets.”

Kids Cook-Off 5th Annual/2017 Kid’s Cook-off General Rules and Regulations

BBQ Challenge Entry Form and Rules/BBQ poster

Bob’s Bar burger eating contest

Ponca State Park is located just north of Ponca in northeastern Nebraska’s Dixon County.

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