Knife and gun show coming this Saturday to St. C

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — An annual knife and gun show will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the J.B. Martin Center near the St. Clairsville Football Field.

Gary Lucas of the National Pike Knife Collectors Club is organizing the event and said it has been ongoing for close to six years.

“It’s just a knife club that collects knives, trades and swaps them,” Lucas said. “We usually have about 40 vendors.”

He spoke about the importance of practical tools and weapons, as well as the continuing value of knowing the use of these weapons.

“We want to keep the old ways alive — the role knives played when this country was first forming,” he noted.

Lucas said visitors to the show will be greeted by a wide variety of guns and knives available for sale, as well as fellow lovers of the hobby.

“People come in, buy, sell and trade and sometimes reminisce a bit,” he said.

He added that the club also tries to give back to the community to benefit those in need through its activities.

“We give to local charities, the money we make,” he said. “We give to the Wheeling Children’s Home, Hospice of Rayland. We give to the Wounded Warriors Association. Our by-laws state we can’t give over $50 to each one of them, but we send them each $50.”

The group also helps the 3Cs cancer support group in Barnesville and the Salvation Army’s Bellaire post.

“It was almost $500 we mailed out to charities in the area,” he said. “We always try to help the community. Anybody that needs it.”

He added that the club also presents a $300 scholarship in July to the relatives of club members.

In terms of attendance, Lucas said the event can see close to 150 people. While visitors from Pittsburgh and West Virginia usually attend, the majority are from areas such as Bellaire, St. Clairsville, Colerain, Cadiz, Shadyside and Barnesville.

“The club started in Barnesville. Our biggest group is from Barnesville,” he said.

Lucas said the original showcase items were knives, but the club branched out into guns to increase its popularity.

“The reason we include the guns is to get the crowd,” he said. “The gun people, they seem to bring a bigger variety of people in.”

He added that the event enjoys the support of many local business owners.

“We have door prizes, and they’re donated by local businesses,” he said, pointing out that the Whiteside and Doan auto dealerships both donated oil changes. Other businesses donated gift certificates. Thanks also went to St. Clairsville Police Chief Jeff Henry, who donates his time to provide security free of charge.

“It makes for a better show when you have someone there to enforce the law,” Lucas said, adding that Henry also has provided gun safety demonstrations at club meetings.

The knife club meets at 2 p.m. the second Sunday of each month at the St. Clairsville Ruritan building. The club is currently looking for a treasurer, a secretary and a photographer.