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Upcoming Events and Great Hobbies Go Together

Who has time for a hobby these days? According to an article in Psychology Today, just about everyone! What’s more, whether it’s fishing, ham radio operating, or some other endeavor, a hobby adds fulfillment to life.

Dr. Jaime L. Kurtz, an associate professor of psychology at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, writes in the magazine that people today often fill their time with social media, TV watching, and emailing when they could spend some of that time in other, possibly more meaningful, activities. A hobby can help you structure your time, foster new social connections, and help you cope with stress, Kurtz says.

Some events coming up in LaPorte County are ideal for people who love to spend time fishing or operating ham radios or might be interested in developing one of these activities as a hobby. And while planning a wedding may not be a hobby, it can feel like one as prospective brides and grooms spend months on that big project. So, there’s an activity in store in that department too.

In the community of LaPorte, the local Maple City Ice Fishing Classic on Saturday, Feb. 10, coincides with a brand-new fishing event, the North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) Qualifying Tournament Feb. 9-11. The Maple City event, from 5 a.m. to noon Feb. 10 on Stone Lake, is sponsored by Friends of Fishing. Cash prizes will be awarded, and participant names will be entered in a prize drawing. The NAIFC Qualifying Tournament, coming to Indiana for the first time, is a competition on Stone and Pine lakes for teams from across the Ice Belt states. Local teams are encouraged to compete, and spectators are welcome.

Also, on tap for the weekend is a Kids Ice Camp at 1 p.m. Saturday. Parents and children will gather at the LaPorte Best Western to learn about ice safety, bait, rods and more. At 2 p.m. both kids and parents are invited out onto the ice to try their luck. The event is sponsored by Ice Team and Lucky John Lures.

If you already are a ham radio hobbyist or might be interested in this fascinating pastime, don’t miss Cabin Fever HamFest from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 24 at the LaPorte Civic Auditorium in LaPorte. The annual ham radio and electronics show, and flea market is sponsored by The LaPorte Amateur Radio Club. Vendors display and sell all kinds of radio equipment, both vintage and new. VE testing for people who have been studying for their ham licenses takes place at 9 a.m. There’ll be free parking, food concessions, and door prizes. Best of all, it’s a chance to talk and exchange stories with fellow ham radio operators, who connect with people all over the world.

If a trip down the aisle is in your future, you’ll want to get a jumpstart on the day and plenty of information at the annual Bride Blu Bridal Show from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa in Michigan City. The Blue Chip and NWI Times cosponsor the event, Northwest Indiana’s premier bridal show.

More than 60 vendors display all the options for gowns, tuxedos, venues, flowers, photography, music, catering, cakes, and makeup. Meet with the experts, sip champagne and sample hors d’oeuvres, view a fashion show, and get a free tote bag, Drawings for prizes will be held, including the big one – a trip to Las Vegas. Admission is free if you register ahead online.

You might also find that some of these pros, from photographers to bakers to caterers, started their businesses as hobbies. And that’s one more benefit of developing a hobby. The website reports that more and more people are blending hobbies and business, “turning their passion projects into hugely successful businesses.”

For the upcoming events listed in the story:
Maple City Fishing Classic and North American Ice Fishing Qualifying Tournament:
Cabin Fever HamFest:
Bridal Blu:

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