It’s the largest consumer outdoor show in the country. And it gets underway this Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. To sportsmen in the Lehigh Valley, it’s still known as the “Harrisburg Show,” despite it’s new name, The Great American Outdoor Show.
Hosted by the NRA, this year’s super show will feature over 200 seminars, 1,100 exhibits, hunting/fishing outfitter’s from around the world, equipment dealers including the top firearms manufacturer’s, ATVs, SUVs, trucks, boats, NRA Foundation banquet and a country music concert by entertainers Dustin Lynch and Granger Smith.
The seminar scheduled is jammed packed with a variety of interesting and informative topics. A sampling of which includes Long Range Hunting Shots, Coyote Trapping, Big Game Hunting with Jim Shockey, Tactical Carbine for Personal Defense, Lethal Force and the Law/Concepts Every Gun Owner Must Understand/Concealed Carry Reciprocity and Traffic Stops both seminars by Atty. Sean Maloney, How to Read Waters by bass pro Hank Parker, The Art of Cooking Venison by Chef Al Wutsch and many more.
For large arena shows its, Archery Trick Shots by Chris Brackett and Dock Dogs Jumping competition with several more.
New this year is Archery Tag, a family dodgeball participation game with bows and arrows. Two teams of 5 battle each other with bows and NRA’s patented non-lethal foam-tipped arrows.
Personality wise are movie and TV actor (“Full Metal Jacket” and 60 more films) R. Lee Erney and Glock representative, Jim Shockey, Paul & Mike Teutel from the TV series “American Chopper” and several more.
For the kids, there’s the Eddie Eagle Kid’s Zone that teaches children what to do if they come across a firearm with the commandments of Stop! Don’t Touch, Run Away, Tell a Grown Up. There’s also a photo booth where kids can dress up and have their photo taken, face painting, Basketball Challenge and the NRA Air Gun Range plus trout fishing pond.
Also returning are the 3D archery shoot, art exhibit and a mobile app (iOS and Android) to pre-plan your trip, traffic alerts, parking options, seminar schedules and overall show directory.
While at the show check out the NRA Foundation’s “Wall of Guns,” a collection of modern firearms that for a $10 raffle ticket, can win you one of the 60-plus guns in the collection.
For tickets to the country show, Foundation banquet and to the show itself, go to www.GreatAmericanOutdoorShow.org. At the site you’ll get a complete listing of all the events, stage shows, floor plan, ticket deals and general information including a Q&A on the show to answer your questions as to whether you can carry a backpack, a licensed firearm and firearm purchases. There are also directions to the Farm Show Complex.
For folks who need one, there’s scooter and wheelchair rentals but it’s advisable to reserve one in advance online. Incidentally, instead of having to stand in line to buy tickets, they can be printed from a home computer.
The show runs Feb. 4-12 and for GPS nav users, the Farm Show is located at 2300 Cameron Street, Harrisburg, Pa 17110.
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.