The whole world will be cutting at the 35th Annual BLADE Show. Question is, will you be among them?
June 3-5 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, the BLADE Show is the event knife enthusiasts point to year round, with many saving their knife “fun” money just for this one show where custom knifemakers, factory knife companies, and knife accessory, material, machine and tool suppliers and more introduce their latest knives and knife-related products.
Whether you’re a veteran of or a newcomer to the “sharp wars,” have your ducks in a row so you will miss as little as possible at the show. (Let’s face it, with almost 1,000 exhibitors spread out over 144,000 square feet and non-stop knife action for most of the three-day event, it’s hard to see it all.) With that in mind, here’s a short list of things to do and see:
•Get a BLADE Show Program: Available for free in the show lobby, the program will have the show’s most-up-to-date exhibitor listings so you will know how to find your favorite knifemaker, knife company, dealer, supplier, purveyor, collection or what have you. Also, check the program for special customer deals, knife giveaways, contests, live demos, silent auctions and other cool offers;
•If you don’t know, ask: Everyone’s knife family at the BLADE Show, so if you don’t know something, ask. And if the person you ask doesn’t know, ask if he knows someone who does. This includes finding out where the hottest knives are. Strike up a conversation with those in the show and ask them what they’ve seen that’s cool. You’ll be surprised at how you can find some really great knives this way;
•Check out the Knife-Of-The-Year Awards display sponsored by Smoky Mountain Knife Works in the show lobby for the entrants in the factory knife awards competition;
•To find out who wins the BLADE Magazine Knife-Of-The-Year® Awards, which are sponsored by Smoky Mountain Knife Works, the BLADE Show Custom Knife Awards and who the inductee to the BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall Of Fame© is, see the signs outside the show entrance Sunday morning;
•Be sure to attend the first-ever BLADE Show Women’s World Championship Cutting Competition and the 14th Annual BLADE Show Men’s World Championship Cutting Competition at 4:15 p.m. Saturday in The Courtyard under a new, sprawling tent sponsored by Burr King;
•Check out The Pit, the sunken lounge in the lobby of the host hotel Renaissance-Waverly each evening after the show, including the spillover from The Pit outside the hotel entrance, the perfect place to have fun and compare show notes with your fellow show patrons;
•Meet BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame© member Ken Onion at the CRKT booth Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to noon.
There’s much more, of course, much of which will be up to you and your inquisitiveness in finding it at the world’s most important knife event. See you there!