Salisbury Press

Thursday, December 5, 2019
Photo courtesy of NRA This is the Main Hall at the upcoming Great American Outdoor Show kicking off Feb. 6 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. Photo courtesy of NRA This is the Main Hall at the upcoming Great American Outdoor Show kicking off Feb. 6 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.

Great American Show set for Feb.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 by nick hromiak Special to the Press in Sports

It’s the largest consumer outdoor show in the country. And folks in the Lehigh Valley have for years called it the Harrisburg show.

But after NRA’s takeover, it’s now called The Great American Outdoor Show and it kicks off its nine day run beginning Feb. 6 until Feb. 14 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.

NRA took over the show two years ago when the former promoter refused to allow firearms to be displayed. That will no longer be a problem because there will be over 1,000 exhibitors many of which will be firearm manufacturers such as Smith & Wesson, Thompson Center, Remington, Beretta, Sig Sauer, Benelli, Colt (yes they’re out of bankruptcy) H & K and others displaying over the show’s 15 acres.

Aside from firearms, there will be hunting gear, fishing tackle, fishing and hunting outfitters, tents, boats, ATVs, trucks, artwork, archery gear, raffles, auctions, taxidermy and more.

As for outfitters, there will be an entire hall devoted to them. And they come from as far away as Africa, New Zealand and other exotic hunting/fishing locations.

The archery hall will feature a host of new bows and hunting products that recently debuted at the Archery Trade Show held in Louisville, KY. In fact, Rick Weaknecht of Weaknecht Archery in Kutztown, is trying to get the new Benjamin/ Crosman Airbow for demo purposes at his show booth. It’s the quasi crossbow that is being advertised to shoot 2-inch groups at 60 yards, is air powered and takes on the look of an AR rifle.

There will be 200 seminars and entertainment shows including country singer Justin Moore. His show is set for Saturday, Feb. 13, as part of NRA’s Country Concert.

If you’d like to try 3-Gun shooting, the show will offer an opportunity to learn the basics through Airsoft technology. Added to that, check out the Pyramyd-Air Air Gun Range featuring the latest air guns where you’ll be able to shoot at unique targets with instruction from NRA Range Safety Officer.

The show is not all for adults. There are a host of family events including attractions for kids. There is face painting, BullsEye Darts, Safe Archery, wildlife identification, magnetic fishing, a laser shooting gallery and more at the Family Fun Zone. There’s also the Kids Casting Contest and a Kids Trout Pond where kids can catch a fish or two.

Anglers looking for tips and techniques should check out the 2,500-gallon Hawg Trough that will be used to demonstrate a variety of casting and lure working techniques. Register for the new Bass University where you can probe the minds of the fishing pros and discuss tackle, tips and tactics.

While at the show, peruse the Wall of Guns and pick up a raffle ticket for $10 and you may win one of 40 guns on display. There’s also the NRA Foundation Banquet & Auction where you can win firearms, hunts and merchandise, which raises money for the shooting sports.

For bowhunters and archers, there will be 1,000 competitors vying for payouts of $1,500 per class in the Bowhunter Challenge 3D shoot. And the show wouldn’t be complete without duck, goose and turkey calling contests.

On Feb. 12, sit in on TV’s famed Phil Robertson of the Duck Commander show as he talks God, guns and country.

For more information, a map, driving and parking instructions, go to www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org.