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If you host it, they will come

Imagine Baldwinsville as an international destination point for travelers, the village swarming with people from all over the globe. This concept isn't so off base considering a carp angling tournament scheduled for next May.

That's right, carp.

The Red Mill Inn hosted an informational meeting regarding the 2007 Northeast Regional Carp Tournament that will be held throughout Baldwinsville May 16 through the 19.

Jake McKenna, co-owner of the Red Mill Inn, said large corporations are already anticipating the sheer size of the event and jumping on the bandwagon to be part of it. He wants to spread the word to other businesses and organizations to get involved.

"We really need to have a grassroots approach to this," McKenna said. "This tournament is a great economic engine."

David Moor, president of the American Carp Society, and Kathy Kelly, an ACS member originally from Baldwinsville, attended the meeting to provide potential sponsors with expectations for the tournament. According to McKenna, the organization has a proven track record with these types of events, including the first international carp tournament in the United States held in the Ogdensburg/Massena area.

"Our dedication to you is to get the people here to fish and enjoy the town," Kelly said.

Moor said organizers were pushing to recruit 50 to 100 teams, if not more, to participate. "We are going to get as many teams as we can," Moor said. "There is a lot of bank space."

He added that he expected only a third of those teams would be local.

How it all began

Last fall, Jay Bernhardt and McKenna were busy trying to renovate the old Mercer Mill into the Red Mill Inn. While up on the third floor of the building, Bernhardt asked McKenna what all the shadows were in the river.

"I told him they were carp," McKenna said.

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