Huge Crowds at 8th Annual DEERASSIC CLASSIC Largest LIVE Audience of My 25 Year Career
When the National Whitetail Deer Education Foundation hosts it’s annual “Deerassic Classic” in Cambridge, OH people show up. Lots and lots of people! Celebrities, tv hunting personalities, sporting goods retailers, manufacturers, local businesses, country singers, and more than 15,000 people there to be entertained, listen to great country music, try and win one of the raffles, and have a good time. This is one event you have to see to believe. I wasn’t quite ready for what I saw when I arrived… people lined up hours before the event at the main gate, campers and tents everywhere, and lots of volunteers in red shirts.
Just imagine a “Woodstock” for deer hunters you have a pretty accurate photo of what this event is like. There’s good food, lots of exhibits to see, and lots of celebrities to meet. This was the 8th annual Deerassic Classic and my first visit there. When Jerry Snapp and I discussed my appearance, I think he questioned whether an archery act could carry the main stage. After all, with more than 15,000 in the audience watching via jumbotron screens on the grounds, that’s a good audience for a country singer but a HUGE audience for an exhibition shooter.
Jon Petz is the master of ceremonies and keeps the event rolling for the two days. He does the intros, hosts games and skits with audience members, and basically is the face of the event for the weekend. He is excellent at his job. There’s another John, John Page, that is behind the scenes keeping the stage clear, set up, lit and ready for each act and he also does a fine job. This team kept things rolling all weekend. This is a big event with lots of stuff going on and I was impressed that it went so smoothly and without a hitch. Irlene Mandrell is the spokesperson for the event and is also around.
The purpose of the foundation is to educate people about the whitetail deer and also help reconnect today’s youth with the outdoors. They have a facility where the event takes place which is called the Deerassic Park Education Center. Besides the once a year Deerassic Classic, they also host activities such as Ray Howell’s “Kicking Bear One-on-One Archery Shoot and Campout“, a Fall Festival and Trail of Treats, and a new fishing event held in conjunction with a free youth fishing day. It’s good to see that those attending the Deerassic Classic are helping to support events like these that are helping generate an interest in the outdoors for the next generation! This one event generates much of the money that runs programs like these all year long.
There were booths by manufacturers, sales reps, and retailers, as well as tv hunting personalities. You could see Ralph & Vicki Cianciarulo, Chris Brackett, Pat Reeves and Nicole Jones, and many, many more celebs. One of the highlights for me was getting to hear more about lady bowhunter Joella Bates quest to become the very first woman to ever take the African Big Five with a bow. If you get an opportunity to hear her stories do so, that is a historic event for a lady bowhunter! I told Joella that there is only one first…
For my shows I used a young man from the Ten Point crossbow booth named Conner. He threw for me and did a good job, especially given the size crowds the three shows had. I did three mini shows, five to ten minutes each which meant I had to pull the top shots from my exhibition and do those. I did a 12:30, 3:30 and 7:30 show on Saturday. The 7:30 show had the largest crowd of the day— just before the big fifty fifty drawing and just before country singer Daryl Singletary went on stage. The crowd was estimated at more than 15,000 people and all three shows were broadcast on the big jumbotron screens on the grounds. It was awesome seeing a sea of people as far as I could see.
John Page had the net ready each time and Jon Petz kept the atmosphere relaxed and fun. I was pretty laid back considering the size audience and the time restrictions we had. It was actually a lot of fun.
My shots included two arrows at once, three arrows at once, and even six arrows at once, shooting clothes pins from the net, multiple targets, and the grand finale was shooting three baby aspirin from mid air with three arrows— all behind the back! After one of the shows I held the Hoyt bow up high and Joella Bates snapped a picture from stage left. I laughed when I saw it. I am pretty proud of the Formula RX bow and the way it shoots!
I also took time to tell the audience about being the protege’ of the late Rev. Stacy Groscup, who tossed a Pepsi can into mid air and challenged me to hit it— and that was 25 years ago. It’s hard to believe that 25 years later I stood on stage with 15,000 people looking on. That is the single largest LIVE audience I’ve performed for in one setting. It was cool and I wasn’t one bit nervous. I enjoyed it. Conner did a fine job and we split one of the three baby aspirin and nicked the other two. I’d like to take the time now to thank my bow company Hoyt for the great equipment and their support, all the folks at Deerassic— from the top to the bottom they all worked so very hard to make this event go smoothly. I was asked multiple times each day by more than one person if I was comfortable and needed anything. They are a class act and I enjoyed working with them. Hats off to a great event and great folks. They do so much good for so many I was glad that this event went so well. These folks gave it their all.
By the way, later in the evening as Daryl Singletary, Andy Griggs, and Rhett Akins played on stage I joked with promoter Jerry Snapp that the stage wasn’t that heavy and I thought I carried it ok. I gave him a big grin and he smiled back. You can visit their website at: www.deerassic.com to learn more about how you can be a part of the 9th Annual Event. You won’t want to miss it!
Texas Event Next Up
I will be making two appearances in Austin, Texas coming up. One with NFL great Earl Cambell for a Gala he’s hosting at Cool River Cafe in Austin and the following weekend at the Southern National Archery Festival in Austin. I am giving three NFL Hall of Famers Hoyt bows at this event. I’ll perform at Earl Cambell’s Kickoff Gala at the Cool River Cafe Saturday, August 28, 2010 and the Southern National Archery Festival will be held the following weekend September 2-5, 2010 at the Travis County Expo Center. The HAVE BOW WILL TRAVEL TOUR rolls on.
That’s the latest. Until next time, Adios and God Bless.
Visit our updated website at www.frankaddingtonjr.com
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster
Email Frank @ Aspirinbuster@aol.com