NORWALK, Conn. – Kids get in free at the Norwalk Boat Show this weekend, where they can touch an alligator or watch as a grown man hovering over the water, if they're lucky.
In addition to boats both expensive and budget minded, the show features a heated "Be a Diver" pool and a craft area for the little ones. Adults can visit "Try It Cove" for a chance to try out kayaks and stand up paddling, or get on a $6,000 flyboard.
Fueled by jet-propulsion technology, fit hale and hardy adventurers fly in the air over the water or dive down below as water shoots from nozzles under their feet.
What's in the exhibitor tent? Along with the boat-related paraphernalia you'll find oddities such as the free cigarette butt containers from Keep Norwalk Beautiful ("Flying off the shelf," said Diane Lauricella) and Repeat The Heat reusable heat pads – click the metal button inside and the water and the solution inside crystalizes magically, throwing off heat.
Then there are alligators.
Christopher Gurda, 4, and Cynthia Gurda, 2, were among those watching the Swampmaster show Thursday afternoon, as handler Jeff Quattrocchi staged a skirmish with an 8-foot alligator before pulling out a "more dangerous" baby gator out of a crate.
Quattrocchi talked of the stitches he needed after a stunt gone wrong before his partner, Ryan "Forklift" Liopertz brought the baby around for everyone to touch.
Christopher and Cynthia didn't hesitate, lingering at ringside as they stroked the gator.
"I don't think they get it, that he's real," said their mother.