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HENRY — Outdoor enthusiasts are gearing up for the annual Henry decoy show, which will be 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9 at Henry-Senachwine High School, Route 29, Henry.
This show marks the 46th anniversary of the first Henry show, which was founded in 1968 by Don and Almira Clark. The show is attended by hundreds of people interested in buying, showing, selling and trading old collectibles. Admission for adults is $5. Children under 12 receive admission for free.
This year, Susan and Bruce Bauter have stepped down from coordinating the show. Jason Baldwin of Chicago, who is a full-time dealer and show promoter, is coordinating the event this year.
It was during his days at Illinois State University that he first became interested in Illinois river decoys, he said.
“I quickly became aware of Charles Perdew and some of the other carvers and desired to buy sell, trade and collect examples of their works,” Baldwin said. “At first it was a hobby and a way to make a little extra money. Soon it grew into a full-time business.” At the decoy show, Peoria Riverfront Museum will display decoys from the museum’s permanent collection. The Midwest Decoy Collectors Association will have a display.
The Charles Perdew Museum Association will staff an informational booth. The Perdew museum, located on Front Street in Henry, will be open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. that day. Baldwin, who is a long-time exhibitor at the Henry decoy show, said it is easy to understand why the show has remained popular throughout the decades.
“The residents of the Illinois River Valley are proud of their hunting and decoy traditions that were born through, first, market gunning for meat, and then sport hunting and continuing through today,” he said. “It is an honor to be involved with this tradition and also a tradition that many of us would like to see continue indefinitely...I believe that this show allows people to get out and remember how they have a lot of fun and relieves some major cabin fever by this time of year.”
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