Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show Celebrates 40 Years of On-the-Water Fun January 19-22

Upper Midwest’s Premier Boat Show Expands 25 Percent, Offering Ideal Winter Escape to Shop Big Deals on Boats and Accessories, Enjoy Benefits of Boating Indoors with New Attractions

The 2012 Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show docks January 19-22 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, celebrating 40 years as the Upper Midwest’s premier boating event in a big way – expanding 25 percent and opening up a fourth hall, offering visitors a larger selection of boats and marine accessories to shop, plus more summer fun with new attractions and education for new and experienced boaters alike, including an actual Marina & Yacht Club inside the convention center!

“This year’s show is particularly exciting, celebrating our 40th year as the region’s biggest and best winter boating destination. We’re pulling out all of the stops to show people how truly invaluable the boating lifestyle can be with more education, more boats and marine gear to shop, and more interactive experiences and summer fun the whole family can enjoy,” noted Jennifer Thompson, show manager. “With old favorites like the Antique & Classic Boat Display and new traditions like the interactive educational area, Fred’s Shed, and indoor Marina & Yacht Club, there’s no better place to discover why life is better with a boat!”

Visitors to the 2012 show will find hundreds of boats, marine gadgets and accessories for every budget and lifestyle, and have the unique opportunity to view, board and shop models and brands side by side while taking advantage of exclusive show specials and the season’s best deals.

Families, experienced captains and those new to the water will enjoy a variety of attractions including:

NEW! Marina & Yacht Club Experience – See boats and marine equipment as they were meant to be experienced, in the water! This 10,000 square feet virtual exhibit features a lifelike setting complete with water, docks, a lift, boulder-scaping, trees, and boats for every lifestyle and budget, including some of the largest vessels at the show. Browse and shop boats and marine equipment docked at the marina, or relax at the Yacht Club, listen to live music lightly and order something to eat from Seven Sushi & Steakhouse.

NEW! DIY Seminars & Interactive Learning Center at Fred’s Shed – Watch, learn and do! Do-it-yourselfers or boat owners interested in maintaining, repairing or upgrading their boat or engine can head to Fred's Shed for practical, professional advice. Free, daily seminars and talk-show format clinics cover a variety of topics, and include demos and question/answer sessions. Together, “The Boating Guy” and certified marine service technician “Fred, The Outboard Doctor,” bring more than 50 years of boating and ‘wrench-slinging’ experience to the Shed. Stop by to see a cutaway boat and motor, participate in hands-on clinics and interactive Q&A sessions.

New! Kids Build-A-Boat Cove presented by Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota – Kids can build and decorate their own wooden boat and sail it in an actual pond at the show. All donations for each boat kit will be given to Children’s of Minnesota.

NEW! New to Boating? Visit the Welcome to the Water Center – A visit to the the Welcome to the Water Center is a must for new boaters, which provides free daily seminars from unbiased boating experts ready to answer any questions about getting started in boating, the right boat for any budget and lifestyle, local boating information and more.

Antique & Classic Boat Display – Step back in time to admire the beauty and craftsmanship of vintage craft. Among the variety of boats on display will be the award-winning "Stella," a 1907 Fay & Bowen Standard Launch from the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum (presented by the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society).

Meet Patrick Star from SpongeBob SquarePants – Straight from Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob's buddy Patrick Star will visit the show on Saturday, January 21 and Sunday, January 22 from Noon–3pm to meet and greet his fans and take pictures.

Sailfest Seminar Series – This popular series of free, daily seminars provides practical takeaways for the beginner and veteran sailor, plus entertaining stories of sailing adventurers for all ages.

Visit for updates on contests and additional features.

When: Thursday – Sunday, January 19-22, 2012
Thursday and Friday, January 19-20 – 12:00-9:00p.m.
Saturday, January 21 – 10:00a.m.-9:00p.m.
Sunday, January 22 – 10:00a.m.-5:00p.m.

Where: Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased in advance at or onsite the day of the show. Cost for tickets:
Adults (16 and older): $10.00
Youth (15 and under): FREE with paid adult
Active Military: FREE - present military ID at the box office onsite