A ‘great kick-start’ to the season

February 20, 2017 GMT

Colleen Quinn’s annual Valentine’s Day request doesn’t involve flowers or chocolate.

Rather, the Columbia City resident said, she tells her husband this: “You can take me to the boat show.”

So on Sunday, Quinn, her husband and her son attended the 36th annual Fort Wayne Boat Show and Sale at Memorial Coliseum.

The venue also was hosting the eighth annual Northern Indiana Golf Show presented by Bobick’s Golf. It featured demonstrations by PGA professionals, a demo driving range, miniature golf and skills challenges.

Attendance remained flat this year despite expanding the golf show to Friday, event manager Kathy Boles said. She credited the spring-like weather for hindering turnout, noting that multiple courses were open over the weekend.

“Why come play on a simulator when you can play outside?” she said.

The National Weather Service reported temperatures reached 64 degrees in Fort Wayne by 4 p.m. Sunday, just shy of the 67-degree record set in 1930.

On Saturday, the high temperature of 67 degrees broke the record for that day of 61 degrees set in 1961 and 1994.

For Sandie and Dean Woodward, the nice day prompted them to seek out an activity. They traveled from their home near Defiance, Ohio, to the boat show on a whim, they said.

They weren’t planning on making a major purchase but own a pontoon and like to keep up on the latest styles, Sandie Woodward said.

Dave Aker of Coldwater Lake Marina – a longtime boat show participant – described the event as a “great kick-start to the year” that gets people thinking about boating.

Traffic at the event was steady, and the sales were good, he said.

“People are buying,” Aker said.

Kim Minick of Fort Wayne said her husband was eager to purchase a boat, but she didn’t know if that would happen Sunday. They used to have a fishing boat, she said, and they are now looking for a kid-friendly watercraft.

The boat show’s selection gave them a starting point, she said.

“We’ve looked at a lot,” Minick said. “We would love to have a boat.”

Quinn and her family, who have a lake cottage, usually leave the boat show with a toy, such as a new tube, or equipment, like ski ropes and life jackets, she said.

They also check out the new, updated pontoons, she said, adding she always enters contests for giveaways.

“I come and dream,” she said.