An event next week in Springfield is expected to draw around a half a million visitors to the city.
The Bass Pro Shops World’s Fishing Fair will be held March 30 through April 3 at the company’s national headquarters in Springfield. The event will feature exhibitions, vendors, seminars, concerts by country music stars and visits by bass fishing pros, including Jimmy Houston and Roland Martin. The lineup of country music recording artists includes Hank Williams Jr., Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, among others.
Springfield city manager Jason Gage said the World’s Fishing Fair was last held in 1988, when around 250,000 people attended. Attendance is expected to be double that this year, and he expects the city to reap the benefits.
“The economic impact for this event is estimated for the entire community at roughly $80 million,” said Gage. “It’s a big-time event when you get all those people in your community.”
Bass Pro Shops has been working with the City of Springfield to help plan the World’s Fishing Fair.
Campbell Avenue, which is a major corridor in Springfield, will be closed between Sunshine and Cherokee Streets for the duration of the event. Digital messaging signs are already up to alert city residents of the upcoming closure, and a video explaining traffic management plans has been posted to the City of Springfield’s website.
Access to nearby neighborhoods from Campbell will also be closed to avoid visitors parking on residential streets. Residents who need to park on the street are being given parking permits to place on their vehicles so they won’t be ticketed, officials say.
Bass Pro will use several different parking lots across the city for the World’s Fishing Fair and will shuttle visitors to the event. The city is recruiting volunteer ambassadors to serve as tour guides on the shuttles.