With the Tinley Park Fishing Show celebrating its 25th year this weekend, it’s prime time for a Q&A with show manager Rich Komar. Now retired, Komar was in the wholesale meat business when the show, operated by the Tinley Park High School Athletic Association, started.

Rich Komar.
Credit: For the Sun-Times

Did you ever think it would make 25 years?

Never in a million years. In fact, I just talked to the first head coach (Lou Narish) for football that was there when we started this show. He told me I never thought you would be doing this for the kids twenty five years later. This year we just hired a new head coach for football. I am now on my fifth since I started this event.

Is there a moment or two that stick out, good or bad?

9-11 for sure. That year we had to go up against the Super bowl. Everybody told me that would be our demise.

Have you thought about what makes for the success and longevity?

There really is little else like it.

I’m a little different then most show promoters, my goal to a successful show is make your exhibitors happy. They are what can make or break a show. They are more engaged to your guests. There not complaining about the show they are helping you promote the show.

Some say outdoors shows are dying. Do you see that or think that?

In my case I find this a great opportunity for not only your big resorts, charters, retailers, I find it lets the little guy show his products to thousands of people. Most shows don’t give them that chance because the cost just won’t permit them. A lot of products would not be out there without shows.

What’s your favorite show?

The 20th for sure. That show my two boys flew back from LA to help and be part along with my three stepsons. That is the only show I had all five of my boys there for the whole weekend.

I can’t remember, but was there ever a year where you thought the weather might virtually stop the show?

We have been blessed by not having many bad snow years but a few years back we had a major snow the week of the show. It took every favor I had saved up to get our lots cleaned and ready.

Info on the show is at tinleyparkfishingshow.com.

The crush of opening day at the Tinley Park Fishing Show in 2013.
Credit: Dale Bowman

PEOPLE: Readers receiving Tinley tickets included John Cikesh, Don Sobczak, Ron Wozny, Dave Lorentzen, Kevin Lingle, Chris Burkhardt and Jon Lanting. First speaker was Ken “The Lakefront Lip’’ Schneider.

ICE PEOPLE: The northeast Illinois team of Dale Erath and Chris Lemerand won the North American Ice Fishing Circuit event on the Chain O’Lakes with eight crappie and eight bluegill weighing 9.08 pounds.

IN MEMORY: J.R. Black died Friday. Mr. Black, an Illinois Outdoor Hall of Famer, was the driving force behind the Northern Illinois Anglers Association, the Kankakee & Iroquois River Clean Up (35 years) and the Kankakee River Fishing Derby (34 years). Visitation is 4-8 p.m. Friday at Schreffler Funeral Home in Kankakee. Click here for the obit and details.

STRAY CAST: Deciphering the NFL’s catch rule is like explaining detritus floating Bubbly Creek.