The Progressive Metro Boat Show returns on Sept. 15 at Lake St. Clair Metropark.

The Progressive Metro Boat Show returns on Sept. 15 at Lake St. Clair Metropark.

Photo courtesy of Metro Boat Show

Metro Boat Show ‘expecting big boost’ this year

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Metro | Published September 1, 2022


METRO DETROIT — In its first time back since the 2020 cancellation due to COVID-19, the attendance and atmosphere returned to normalcy last year. 

For the 2022 Progressive Metro Boat Show at Lake St. Clair Metropark from Sept. 15 to 18, expectations are skyrocketing for the event.

“The big draw for this show is that it’s at an outdoor arena with a great outdoor atmosphere with tiki bars; it’s just a nice, outdoor atmosphere,” Michigan Boating Industries Association’s Amanda Wendecker said. “We’re expecting a big boost in attendance because a lot of people that came into the sport since COVID, and we’re eager to welcome them back into the show.”

Wendecker, the Vice President of marketing for MBIA, noted that boat inventory shortages were an issue in last year’s show, but inventory is stocked and ready for the show this year.

The atmosphere will continue to be the driving force behind the shows’ success as food trucks, tiki bars, and live music will be the center of attention along with the hundreds of boats on display. Lawn games such as hook and ring toss, cornhole and giant Jenga will be available to use as well.

The show will also feature a kids zone that includes remote control boats, face painting, water fun, kids crafts and an aquatic invasive species exhibit.

“It’s just really a family-friendly event to hangout,” Wendecker said.

The ability to watch college football on Saturday and professional football on Sunday on the various televisions at the boat show will bring an enjoyable atmosphere or, at the very least, increase boat purchases if the football games are subpar.

“It’s a pretty cool show; it’s the end of season, but not like a winter show,” Paul VanderDonck of Colony Marine said. “It’s kind of like that last hoorah for boaters; it’s kind of like a party to be honest.”

VanderDonck will be on-site with Colony Marine, who has been a part of the boat show for decades, as Colony Marine will have close to 20 boats, including three 52-footers.

Attendees will be able to tour the boats and perhaps catch a deal of the year.

“Usually, manufacturers are looking to move some inventory before the winter, and people are usually pretty aggressive at looking,” VanderDonck said. “I think at any show the buyers know it’s the best opportunity to buy around.”

The show will offer a trolley service, and attendees can shop at the Michigan Boatique located in the main tent. Tickets are $10 for adults, and children 12 and younger are free when accompanied by an adult. Military and first responders earn a free admission. For more information, visit Information on the Metro Boat Show, Detroit Boat Show, and Novi Boat Show can be found on the website. The Detroit Boat Show will take place Jan. 14-16 and 19-22 at Huntington Place, while the Novi show will take place March 9-12 at the Suburban Collection Showplace.