Aside from the exhibitions, some of the celebration's more popular features include "The Hawg Trough," a giant aquarium filled with trophy fish; the Division of Natural Resources' game-cooking tent; the DNR's squirrel-skinning and deer field-dressing demonstrations; the DNR's Big Buck and Big Fish exhibits; and the DNR's fish-filleting demonstration.
One of the celebration's great appeals is that it gives folks a chance not only to see the outdoors "up close and personal," but also to get hands-on experience at some activities.
Some of the hands-on opportunities at next weekend's event include fly casting, archery, muzzleloader shooting, .22-caliber rifle shooting and skeet shooting. Children are allowed to shoot, but only if accompanied by responsible adults.
All the firearm action takes place at the DNR shooting range a couple of miles from the park, and shuttle buses will be on hand to whisk people from the show grounds to the range and back.
One unique feature during the two-day event will be the annual Outdoor Youth Challenge, which Snodgrass calls "a youth expo and competition relating to wildlife, hunting, fishing, firearms safety and outdoor recreation."
The challenge is open to youngsters age 6-18, who will get a checklist of activities to complete during the day. All participants become eligible to win hunting- and fishing-related prizes, including two lifetime hunting and fishing licenses.
In addition, youngsters age 11-18 can take part in a five-stage competition that includes casting for accuracy, archery, .22 rifle shooting, muzzleloader shooting and skeet shooting. Top finishers in the 11-14 and 15-18 age groups will win scholarships to the state Conservation Camp.
Stonewall Jackson Park is about 3 miles from the Roanoke exit off Interstate 79. Admission to the celebration is $5 for adults and $1 for children age 4-15. Children age 3 and under get in free.