By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Scented candles and jewelry at a man cave expo?
Event organizer Matt Osborn says not to worry. The frilly, fluffy, smelly things will be tucked away in a corner, available for any guy who wants to get a head start on Valentine's Day shopping.
The main feature of the inaugural Man Cave Expo will be anything that goes in a guy's hallowed space, the one room of the house he gets to decorate without any help. More than 30 vendors will offer furniture, fitness equipment, amusements, memorabilia and electronics for a variety of manly spaces.
From samurai swords to kegerators, the expo is one of the few meant specifically for guys, said Osborn, of Way Beyond Events.
"It's something I've wanted to do for a while," he said. "We do a lot of family fests, and we've done wedding fests and girls' nights out. But there really isn't anything just for guys."
Osborn said the concept has taken off in other markets, including Springfield and Tulsa, so Joplin seemed like a natural fit.
The event will have more than just indoor entertainment, though. Vendors featuring small motorcraft and archery will be on hand, and guys can compete in a number of contests, from poker to who has the hairiest back.
Downstream Casino is sponsoring a Texas Hold Ôem contest to raise funds for Besties with Testies, a non-profit dealing with testicular cancer. Other competitions include a pie-eating contest and archery. The event also includes beer sampling.
Originally planned for September, organizers moved the expo to Super Bowl weekend, when schedules are more free.
"We thought, why not wrap this into Super Bowl weekend," Osborn said. "Guys are already geared up to do stuff. We plan to keep doing this at this time of year."
Want to go?
The Man Cave Expo will be held noon to 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Holiday Inn Convention Center. Admission: $3 for either day, $5 for both days. Poker tournament registration: $25. Details: 855-744-7787.