Outdoor Expo and Sportsman’s Flea Market in Norvelt memorializes outdoorsman
The second annual Outdoor Expo and Sportsman’s Flea Market honoring the late Andy “Chico” Crise promises to be bigger and better than the first.
The Sunday event memorializes Crise, who died unexpectedly last year, collapsing in a stairwell at work. He was 28.
The inaugural gathering attracted 26 vendors and 22 flea market-type sellers, Crise’s brother and event organizer Matthew Crise said.
Already, with a few last-minute additions expected, the show will feature about 40 vendors and 25 flea market sellers. Also featured will be a children’s area with trout pond and games, speakers and more.
“I really think the crowd’s going to be up this year, too,” Crise said, pointing out last year’s event drew more than 500 people with little advertising.
Chico Crise of Laughlintown, formerly of Norvelt, was a lifelong, diehard outdoorsman who spent all of his time on the water or in the woods, his brother said. A big part of that included taking his children along.
Matthew Crise came up with the idea of the show as a way to honor that legacy. He wanted to raise money to support the Andrew “Chico” Crise Memorial Fishing Classic.
For the fishing classic, five waters — four in Westmoreland County and one in Potter, all ones Chico favored — were stocked with rainbow trout. The fish were big, each 16 to 18 inches. All were tagged for prizes worth $25.
Everyone who caught a tagged fish and turned it in was entered into a drawing for a Yeti cooler.
Ultimately, the outdoor expo raised enough money to pay for the cooler and more.
“It went so well that we had some extra money to work with,” Crise said. “We decided it was only fitting to find organizations that got kids into the outdoors to donate that money to. That’s what my brother was all about.”
The hope is that this year’s show will raise enough for the Classic and donations to expand even further, he added. The plan is to give money to organizations encouraging children to enjoy the outdoors, and those that help veterans do the same.
Speakers attending the show will discuss predator trapping, blood tracking with dogs, Pennsylvania elk hunting and more.
The event will feature a wide variety of food and raffles, including one for a safe and gun worth $500 and another for a whitetail hunt worth $5,000.
Visitors can be fitted for custom ear protection and prescription shooting glasses.
Crise is already thinking of next year’s event, and believes he may have to find a larger venue if things continue to grow. Support from the outdoors community has been wonderful, he noted.
“I hope this is a long-term thing. I think it’s something (Chico) would be proud of,” Crise said.