Blues, Brews, BBQ & Canoes
What do blues, brews, barbecue and canoes have in
The obvious answer is “fun,” but “tourism trade expo” is a runner-up.
Any local business that interacts with the tourism population in the High Country is invited to kick off summer at Wahoo’s fourth annual Blues, Brews, BBQ and Canoes Expo, to be held June 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Participating businesses will be allowed to set up tables and offer samples of their wares, such as tastes from local restaurant owners or brochures from campsites, during the half-day mixer.
The expo is geared specifically toward owners and employees in the hospitality, restaurant and outdoor industries or any other business that comes in contact with tourists, according to Wahoo’s Adventures public relations director Virginia Roseman. “It’s an opportunity to showcase their businesses,” she said.
In addition to a uniquely fun networking opportunity, the summer bash also benefits tourists and the businesses’ customer base.
“In the tourism industry, we have to be able to give them (tourists) the info they need, so they can have a great time,” Roseman said. “All of us have to be able to work together, so we can survive. At Wahoo’s, we want everyone to start their summer knowing what is out there, so no matter where you go, you know what everyone likes to do.”
Along with camaraderie between local businesses, guests to the expo are invited to sample wine and beer from local venues, chow down on barbecue from some of the region’s best smokehouses, and some fun on the river.
“When they (businesses) come to the event, they will be invited to go up the river and come back down in a canoe, kayak or tube,” Roseman said.
To complement the food and brews, Wahoo’s will also have live music on hand to round out the day of fellowshipping and networking. “All of this (is) free as long as you work in the tourism industry,” Roseman said.
Jeff Stanley, owner of Wahoo’s Adventures, started the expo in 2010 to target “frontline” employees of tourism-related business, namely those who regularly interact with tourists and visitors.
“The idea came because there was nothing going on to educate, entertain and show these frontline people they’re appreciated in the High Country,” Stanley said. “So, I started doing some brainstorming on what we could do to get the waiter, the housekeeper, the bartender — everyone who hears about all these great things we have to offer in the High Country but never gets to experience them — a chance to play.”
The fun takes place at Wahoo’s New River Outpost, located on Big Hill Road off N.C. 194, just outside of Boone. To get there, take N.C. 194 North for five miles, turn right on Big Hill Road, travel approximately three miles, and Wahoo’s will be on the right at the bottom of the hill, adjacent to the bridge.
To RSVP, call Wahoo’s Adventures at (828) 262-5774.