Game Fair, the harbinger of autumn that annually draws tens of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts to Armstrong Ranch Kennels in Ramsey, opens Friday for a two-weekend, six-day run.
The fair promises to be bigger than ever, said Chuck Delaney, who with his wife, Loral I, owns the event, which they founded in 1982.
“We have more exhibits and more events than ever, and we’ve reconfigured our grounds to hold everything,’’ Chuck Delaney said.
Game Fair is modeled after a British event of the same name that gathers country-minded people from all corners of the United Kingdom.
Shotgun shooting games, including sporting clays, and multiple dog tests and contests will be offered at the Delaneys’ Game Fair, as will archery and duck- and goose-calling competitions.
Rain or shine, Game Fair is held outdoors, and fairgoers are welcome to bring their cased shotguns and leashed canine friends.
Game Fair seminars will run the gamut, Delaney said, from retriever and pointer training to gun maintenance, and deer and elk hunting.
Workshops on agility and herding training for dogs also will be featured daily, as will a trick-shooting demonstration and the latest in ATVs and other gear.
The Delaneys are longtime owners of Armstrong Ranch Kennels, site of the first German shorthaired pointer trial in the United States, when they were owned by Loral I’s father, Fred — who also trained Minnesota’s first dual champion retriever.
Growing up at the kennel, which was founded in 1926, Loral I knew by age 3 she wanted to train dogs, and by age 7, she and her dogs headlined sport shows from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles.
She and Chuck also have won the husband-and-wife national trapshooting championship, and Loral I has competed for the U.S. trapshooting team worldwide.
Show dates are Aug. 8-10 and Aug. 15-17. Hours Fridays and Saturdays are 9-6, and 9-5 on Sundays. Adult admission is $12, and seniors 62 and over are $8. Kids 6-14 are $5, and those under 6 are free. (Discount coupons are available on the Game Fair website.)