Where can you go to see a squirrel water-skiing? The Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, of course. The 23rd Annual Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic will be held at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia March 23-25. Doors will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, March 23; from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 24; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 25.
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.
For more information on the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, call the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Columbia office at (803) 734-4008. Admission to the 2007 Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic is $6, and parking is $2. 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.
Classic-goers will find more than 300 exhibitors on site with the latest fishing, hunting and outdoor equipment for show and sale. New and returning major attractions for 2007 are “The SwampMaster” Alligator Show, Roark Ferguson and Joe Kelly’s display of North American Wildlife Collection and Southern Whitetail Collection. Also in 2007, the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic will feature its second archery contest where participants may bring their own bow and arrows and compete in an archery contest sponsored by the Palmetto Archery Federation and the Lake Marion Archery Club, snakes by Okefenokee Joe, and native amphibians and reptiles; DNR’s Take One Make One trailer with air rifle and electronic shooting ranges and Bass Tub fishing technique demonstrations. Richland County Sheriff’s Department will also set up their I.R.I.S. and Kid Print program with hours running from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The DNR’s education staff and volunteers will be on hand to help kids catch a catfish at the highly popular SC Reel Kids Fishing Pond.