‘Uncle Si’ Robertson to speak at Pine Belt Sportsman’s BanquetBy HASKEL BURNS,
An evening of free food, door prizes and a special appearance from “Duck Dynasty” star Si Robertson will highlight the 2018 Pine Belt Sportsman’s Banquet, presented by Calvary Outdoors.
The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center, 962 Sullivan Drive in Hattiesburg.
“We really just want to give back (to the community) by having a good, family-oriented event,” Calvary Outdoors spokesman Matt Pace said. “We try to bring everybody in and get them ready for hunting season.
“It’s really just good food, fun and fellowship.”
The banquet will begin with a vendor expo, which will feature approximately 50 booths from local businesses, including Strick’s Bar-B-Q & Catering, Hattiesburg Golf Carts, and Batteries Plus Bulbs.
“Some of them will have stuff for sale; some of them will just be showcasing their items,” Pace said. “It’s obviously outdoor-related, but there will be some antiques, there’s a guy there that will hand-craft stuff, we’ll have an insurance agent or two and some Realtors. So that’s the first hour.”
At 5:30 p.m., free hamburgers, chips, cookies and drinks will be provided to the first 2,000 guests. At the same time, event staff will award about 75 door prizes to attendees.
Game wardens also will be on hand to provide updates on any new laws for the upcoming hunting seasons.
Robertson will take the stage at about 7 p.m. with his unique Southern style of wit, convictions and stories. Following Robertson’s set, event officials will give away several grand prizes, including a Honda Recon four-wheeler, up to 10 guns and a Duck Commander duck call case.
The event will also feature a silent auction with items such as hand-made knives, fishing trips and sports memorabilia.
“We are extremely excited,” Pace said. “This is like our sixth year in a row to do it, so each year we’ve had about 1,200 (participants).
“So we just feel like Uncle Si is going to bump that up a good bit, so we’re doing 2,000 (meals). So if there’s a lot more than that, we’ll have to get creative and hope people understand.”
Although the event is free – other than the silent auction and some items for sale at the booths – officials are hopeful participants will confirm their attendance on the 2018 Pine Belt Sportsman’s Banquet Facebook page.
“We look forward to having the Pine Belt Sportsman’s Banquet every year,” said Marley Seals, assistant director at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center. “The guys that put it on, they’re super nice guys, so we really enjoy having them come to our facility every year.”