ELK COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Thousands will travel to Elk Country this weekend for the area’s annual Elk Expo, a celebration of the county’s wild animals and outdoor attractions.
“The Elk Expo has been a staple in elk country for many, many years,” said Carla Wehler, the coordinator of Elk Expo and operations manager at Keystone Elk Country Alliance. and it’s an opportunity for people to get together and enjoy free educational seminars, visit a bunch of vendors, learn a lot and just kind of celebrate everything that we have here in the Pennsylvania Wilds.”
This time of year in Elk Country, the odds are in visitor’s favor to spot one of these wild animals.
“Of course they’re always going to want to be out looking for Elk early in the morning, just after daylight, and in the evening hours just after dark,” said Wehler. “That’s why we have the Elk Expo in between!”
The expo runs on Saturday, August 21 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Elk County Visitor’s Center and features about 120 vendors.
“This is a great opportunity for them to have a great weekend of sales, economic benefit for our wonderful area, and just have people moving about Elk Country,” said Wehler.
It benefits local businesses, like Doug Drewe’s company, ‘Pennsylvania Hickory Syrup’. He gets to connect with loyal and new customers.
“It’s incredible the amount of people that we meet from all over the country,” said Drewe.
Down the hill in Benezette, Wehler said, “All of the lodging providers are full, the restaurants are full.”
For some, the message goes beyond an afternoon of fun.
“For us, it isn’t even just the fact that we’re here and it’s a big event, we are here to support the Elk program and the conservation,” said Drewe. “Last year we were able to donate quite a bit of money via our sales.”
The expo and parking are free, but there is a $5 charge for their shuttle service.