2002 B.A.S.S. Classic Coverage
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Kids Classic Just Part of the Week's Youth Festivities

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 16, 2002 - B.A.S.S. has long recognized the importance of family participation and getting young people immersed in the sport of fishing. And nowhere is that more on display than the annual CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic.

That is especially true with the 32nd annual Classic, which will be held July 24-27 in Birmingham, Ala. During this Classic Week, the small fry will be big shots with the various activities that are tailored toward young bass enthusiasts.

"The kids are where it's at to me," said Randy Howell, a four-time Classic qualifier from Trussville, Ala. "They are such a big part of Classic Week every year. I really enjoy meeting them and signing autographs."

There is plenty for kids of all ages to enjoy in Birmingham during Classic Week. And all of it is free.

One of the highlights of the festivities is the Kids Classic, which will be held Wednesday, July 24, from 7:30 a.m. to noon at Oak Mountain State Park. With the help of B.A.S.S. Federation volunteers, the youngsters get to compete in their own Classic of sorts - a contest that is fun, relaxed and instructive. Contestants receive a free rod-and-reel, cap and T-shirt for participating. There will also be many other activities, including face painting, clowns, inflatables and interactive games. And nationally syndicated radio hosts Rick and Bubba will broadcast live from the Kids Classic.

Alabama Power Company will be stocking Double Oak Lake with bass for the youngsters on the morning of Tuesday, July 23. The bass are being supplied by American Sportfish of Montgomery, Ala.

In addition, the kids at Oak Mountain State Park will have an opportunity to meet the 52 Classic pros, which include some of the biggest names in fishing.

"I really enjoy that part of the Classic," said Tim Horton, another Alabama pro and the 2000 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year. "The Kids Classic and autograph session is really a great event."

Young fishing fans can also cheer for their favorite pint-sized anglers during the BASSMASTER CastingKids National Championship. Ten finalists, divided into two age groups, will cast, flip and pitch for national championship titles, scholarships and merchandise in the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center on Friday, July 26, at 11 a.m. BASSMASTER emcee Fish Fishburne will be joined by Rick and Bubba to call all of the action.

The young fans can also root for their favorite fishing stars during the three daily weigh-ins which will ultimately decide the 2002 Classic champion.

There are a wide variety of activities geared to the young angler available during the three-day Classic Outdoor Show at the Civic Center. They include: tree-climbing and log-rolling contests; wood-carving demonstrations; trout-pond fishing; viewing bass and enjoying instructional seminars at the Bluewater Promotions fish viewing tank; inflatables; and much more.

Also at the Classic Outdoor Show, youngsters will have an opportunity to meet other top pros and get their autographs. For example, the star-studded Chevy Trucks Pro Staff will man the Chevy booth throughout the three days of the show.

The Classic is much more than just the crowning event of the CITGO BASSMASTER Tournament Trail. Classic Week is the annual celebration of the sport of bass fishing that attracts B.A.S.S. members and other fishing fans from across the country, who come to meet their fishing heroes, attend the weigh-ins and participate in youth and other fan-friendly events.

The launch venue for the event will be Paradise Point Marina. The exciting CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic weigh-in show and the Classic Outdoor Show will take place in the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center. With the exception of the launch site, all of the venues for the event are located in close proximity to each another.

By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its B.A.S.S. Federation, B.A.S.S. is the world's largest fishing organization. The CITGO BASSMASTER Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit. It continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism, and sportsmanship after more than three decades. B.A.S.S. is a wholly owned subsidiary of ESPN.

Sponsors of the 2002 CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic include: CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Chevrolet Trucks, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Kumho Tires, Long John Silver's, MotorGuide Trolling Motors, Bass Pro Shops, Armstrong Industrial Hand Tools, GMAC/ B.A.S.S. Vehicle & Boat Insurance, and B.A.S.S. Platinum Visa/First USA.

Associate Sponsors include Bass Cat Boats and G3 Boats.

The 2002 CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic will be presented locally by the State of Alabama, City of Birmingham, Jefferson County and Shelby County.

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