Where can you go to see a squirrel water-skiing? The Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, of course. The 22nd Annual Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic will be held at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia March 24-26. Doors will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, March 24; from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 25; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 26.
Twiggy: The Water-Skiing Squirrel has traveled the world with her amazing water-skiing talent. Like her predecessors, Twiggy will captivate the audience as she water skis. In 1978, a little squirrel was rescued from a hurricane and raised by Chuck and Lou Ann Best. The late Chuck Best thought of the idea and he and Lou Ann taught her to water-ski. Never in their wildest dreams did they anticipate the squirrel would become the most sought after water-skier in the world. Twiggy, who skis behind a model skiing boat, loves to perform, and her favorite part of the show is the affection she receives from her adoring fans after each performance. Twiggy offers a unique message on boating safety and wearing life jackets.
Call the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Columbia office at (803) 734-4008 for more information or visit the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic Web site at http://www.psclassic.com. Find out more about Twiggy at her Web site http://www.skiingsquirrel.com/index.htm.
Admission to the 2006 Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic is $6, and parking is $1. Seniors 60 and over get in for $5 while children 10 and under are admitted free. Visitors bringing five canned food items for Harvest Hope Food Bank receive $1 off admission. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Friday, March 24; from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
More than 300 exhibitors will be on site with the latest fishing, hunting and outdoor equipment for show and sale. Other free events include special seminars on deer hunting by South Carolina’s own Joe Kelly, a unique reptile exhibit in the Ruff Building; DNR’s Take One Make One trailer-based D.A.R.T. shooting range; Bass Tub fishing technique demonstrations; a national Buckmasters indoor archery competition or bring your own bow and compete in an archery competition sponsored by Lake Marion Archery Club and Palmetto Archery Federation.
The Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic is sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, South Carolina Wildlife magazine, WIS-TV, WCOS-FM Radio, Professional Printers and Bob Redfern’s Outdoor Magazine. The Hampton Fund uses proceeds to fund natural resources conservation projects in South Carolina, such as Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs; Operation Game Thief; Project WILD and the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program. The Classic has raised thousands of dollars over the years to benefit education and outreach programs throughout the state.