Thanks to the tourism industry, Springfield residents will get a chance to see a sasquatch up close and personal during National Travel & Tourism Week.

A taxidermy recreation of a sasquatch is among hundreds of wildlife displays that can be seen during The World Taxidermy & Fish Carving Championships® May 5-9. Public viewing is 6-10 p.m. May 8 and 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. May 9 at the Expo Center, 635 E. St. Louis St. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.

About 1,000 taxidermists and carvers from all 50 states and up to 25 countries are expected to attend. The show averages 600 entries and the event includes competition, seminars and a trade show for registered participants.

This is one of dozens of groups brought to the city each year through the efforts of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, a nonprofit marketing organization dedicated to boosting the local economy through growth in travel and tourism.

Not only does the event provide a unique opportunity for local residents to see some of the best taxidermy and fish carving in the world, it also helps keep the city’s economy strong.

Visitors leave a big footprint on the Greene County economy where about 19,000 people are employed in hospitality and leisure positions and $622 million in direct tourism-related expenditures are generated each year.

Ken Walker, the award-winning taxidermist from Alberta Beach, Canada, who created the sasquatch, will be among those adding to the local economy.

He also hopes to generate conversations about sasquatch. After all, he created his taxidermy version after he saw one and began investigating the creature of legends.

“I built it so people can argue in front of it,” Walker said, laughing.

For more information about the World Taxidermy & Fish Carving Championships®, click here and visit

For information about the role the Convention & Visitors Bureau plays in the city’s economy, call 417-881-5300 and check out the bureau’s 2014 Marketing Report.