By Rich Davenport, published January 6, 2022
The covid covid covid has claimed its first event of 2022, as organizers of the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoors Expo have announced the event, which was slated for February 17-20, 2022 at the Niagara Falls Conference and Events Center, will be cancelled for this year, after Governor Hochul resurrected covid rules in the face of the far less dangerous Omicron variant detected as spreading in NY at the end of 2021. However, unlike the conditions these same rules had in 2020, where evaluations and changes would be considered every 2 weeks, Hochul decided to take a month by month approach, with review of the implemented mandates not to occur until January 15, 2022.
Organizers had hoped this year would see a return to something of normalcy, and this year’s Expo was even moved to a new weekend later in the year, along with adding another day to the event, and a kids super fishing clinic on the final day, which was sure to draw an even larger crowd and more exhibitors than years past. Yesterday, January 5, 2022, saw this come to an end, as organizers had little choice but to cancel the event as to give their vendors and sponsors ample time to for awareness, make changes to travel and lodging reservations in a timely fashion to avoid costly cancellation fees and the like.
“We pulled the plug on it yesterday,” said Bill Hilts, Jr., longtime WNY outdoors writer and one of the key organizers of this event. “The Conference Center is a state facility and we couldn’t wait until February to make a decision. We tried to move it into later March but too many vendors and speakers couldn’t make it.”
The official announcement was released on January 6, 2022, and the focus is now on February 2023 for this very popular event to resume.
Efforts to contain and slow the spread of novel coronavirus 2019 have proven to be ineffective across the board, yet the political class still believes these efforts will someday work. To justify the decisions, many, including Hochul, have turned to using Big Foot Logic to support their decisions, as the science and history now clearly shows that mask mandates, social distancing, capacity rules and lockdowns did nothing. The vaccine mandates have also shown to be ineffective, but the political spin is “it would have been worse if we didn’t do these things.” Since one cannot ever prove a negative, the rationale is akin to claiming Big Foot exists because you can’t prove he doesn’t!
In another move made for similar reasons, the Southtowns Walleye Association has decided to move their Outfitters Fair event, which was planned for January 15, 2022, to February 19, 2022. According to a post on their Facebook Page, the Southtowns Page Admin announced, “This change will ensure the safety of our members and general public amid growing concerns over current rising COVID-19 numbers in the Western New York region. We look forward to another enjoyable event. Please visit the STWA website or Facebook page for the latest event calendar and updates.”
No word or updates have yet been provided concerning another major outdoors expo slated to come back in 2022, the WNY Outdoors and Travel Expo, which is scheduled for March 10-13, 2022 at the Fairgrounds in Hamburg. As of publication, that event is still scheduled to go on, only in a scaled back fashion, utilizing two buildings instead of the four buildings needed for past events, including the last one held in March 2020, just before the original dictates were issued.