BY DOYLE DIETZ
For those who simply are unable to wait to begin attending sports and outdoors shows with the beginning of the New Year, the wait is over.
This week, beginning Friday, Jan. 10, and continuing through Sunday, Jan. 12, the Greater Philadelphia Sportsmen’s Expo has combined with The Fly Fishing and Wingshooting Expo for a three-day event at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks. Previously, the fly fishing/wingshooting event closed the regional run of outdoors shows as a three-day event in the Poconos.
In their normally scheduled dates are the Early Bird Sports Expo at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds the last full weekend in January and the nine-day Great American Outdoor Show at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg beginning the first Saturday in February. This year’s Early Bird is being held from Thursday, Jan. 23, through Sunday, Jan. 26; the GAOS opens Saturday, Feb. 1, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 9.
Two shows whose focus is muzzle loading are the 18th Century Artisan’s Show, Friday, Jan. 31, and Saturday, Feb. 1, at Country Cupboard Restaurant and Best Western Inn, Lewisburg; and the Lancaster Muzzle Loading Rifle Association Gun Show, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 1 and 2, at Lancaster Farm and Home Center, Lancaster. Focusing on conservation are the Eastern Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation Hunting and Outdoor Expo, Friday-Sunday, Feb. 14-16, at the Lancaster County Convention Center; Lancaster; and the National Wild Turkey Federation Outfitter Expo and Banquet, Friday-Sunday, March 13-15, at Cabela’s, Hamburg.
Between wild sheep and NWTF expos is the Cabin Fever Expo at the Mifflinburg Intermediate School. This two-day show with a loyal following is Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15 and 16.
Highlighting the Early Bird is the challenging 3D range and contest sponsored by the staff at Drop Tine Archery. Preregistration by credit card is available by calling (570) 594-0250, and cash prizes are awarded from first through fifth places.
For those who make multi-day trips to the GAOS, there are benefits in purchasing multi-day tickets at a reduced rate. In recent years those who retain their ticket stub may reuse it for admission the final day of the show, Sunday, Feb. 9.
Multi-day events at this year’s GAOS are DockDogs Competition, 3D Bowhunter Challenge, Pennsylvania Taxidermy Association Competition, Great American Outdoor Show Spot Challenge and Kids Casting Contest. Other major events are the Friends of NRA banquet, Thursday, Feb. 6; NRA country concert, Saturday, Feb. 8; and Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association 37th annual Sportsman’s Auction, Sunday, Feb. 9.
Here is the schedule for the sports and outdoors shows in the area:
- Greater Philadelphia Sportsmen’s Expo and Fly Fishing and Wingshooting Expo: Friday-Sunday, Jan. 10-12, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, Oaks; for information visit www.greaterphillysportsmensexpo.com. Hours: Friday, Noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Early Bird Sports Expo: Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 23-26, Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, Bloomsburg; for information and tickets, call (570) 594-0252 or visit www.earlybirdsportsexpo.com. Hours: Thursday, 4-9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 18th Century Artisan’s Show: Friday, Jan. 31, and Saturday, Feb. 1, Country Cupboard Restaurant and Best Western Inn, Lewisburg; for information, call (570) 541-1655 or visit www.18thcenturyartisanshow.com. Hours: Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Lancaster Muzzle Loading Rifle Association Gun Show: Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 1 and 2, Lancaster Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster; for information call (717) 368-4653. Show hours: Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Great American Outdoor Show: Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 1-9, Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg; for information and tickets visit www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.com. Hours: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Eastern Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation Hunting and Outdoor Expo: Friday-Sunday, Feb. 14-16, Lancaster County Convention Center; for information call (717) 588-4190 or visit www.ecwsf.org.
- Cabin Fever Expo: Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 15-16, Mifflinburg Intermediate School, 250 Maple St., Mifflinburg; for information call (570) 742-9671. Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- National Wild Turkey Federation Outfitter Expo: Friday-Sunday, March 13-15, Cabela’s, Hamburg; banquet and auction, Saturday, 5 p.m.; for required banquet tickets to attend auction contact Bruce Dietrich at (610) 462-4146 or email@example.com.
Dietz is parliamentarian of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association. Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.