Due to the Covid pandemic shut-downs last year at this time, the largest outdoor-themed outdoor show was cancelled, but it returns to the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex Feb. 5-13.
The all-encompassing NRA hosted Great American Outdoor Show is set to kick off at the Farm Show Complex and will feature up to 1,100 exhibitors that will, throughout the nine halls of the complex, showcase the latest in fishing, hunting, camping, RV’s, boats, ATV’s, trucks and other outdoor related equipment.
The “Harrisburg Show,” as it’s known locally, draws sportsmen from not only Pennsylvania, but surrounding states who visit to see and buy the latest in fishing/hunting gear and book trips with the myriad of outfitters that come from in and out of the country.
Aside from all of the above, the show will continue to have the Weaknecht Archery hosted 3D archery contests along with a category for 12 and under junior archers. Also for kids, the trout fishing pond returns along with the Eddie Eagle learning section for kids.
Featured celebrities this year are fishing legends Jimmy Houston and Roland Martin who will answer anglers’ bass fishing questions.
Dock Dogs competitions return and it’s a test of the best among hunting dogs.
The show traditionally offers numerous free seminars and this year’s schedule offers some excellent ones. Here’s a sampling: Cold Water Smallmouth Fishing, New to Concealed Carry, Tracking and Stalking Whitetails, Venison Skinning/Butchering/Cutting/Fabrication, Becoming the Ultimate Predator Hunter, Best Way to Use a Drag Rag and Scent Post, Calling Predators at Night, Elk Hunting and many more.
Of course, major gun manufacturer’s like H&K, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, SCCY and others will display their latest and greatest.
NRA’s Wall of Guns returns and features a collection of rifles, shotguns and handguns. For a $10 chance, you can own one of these 40 choice firearms on display. And there’s only 100 chances sold so your chances of winning are increased.
For the ladies and gents, there will be a series of cooking demonstrations of wild game with, of course, some sampling.
Show parking is available at three locations. There’s the Elemerton Ave. and Sycamore Dr. lot; Harrisburg Mall, 3501 Paxton St. (free shuttle by Bass Pro Shops); and on weekend, the Harrisburg Area Community College at 1 HACC Drive 17110 where a free shuttle is also available to the show. All parking areas are $10 per vehicle.
Great American Outdoor Show tickets are $15 for ages 13 and up; $13 for ages 65 and up; $8 for children 6-12; and kids ages 5 and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult. The show also offers a two-day pass for $25.
Expo hours are Saturdays 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.. Admission is free to those who sign-up for or renew their NRA membership at the show.
The Great American Outdoor Show is located at 2300 Cameron St. Harrisburg, PA 17110. There will be scooters and wheelchairs available for rentals but should be reserved in advance.
To avoid waiting in line to buy show tickets, go to www.GreatAmericanOutdoorsShow.org. The tickets can then be printed online so you get them immediately. The website includes a listing of all exhibitors, seminars, events, booth diagrams, show times and directions.
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Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.