It’s the start of a new year and time to think about updating your camping, hunting and fishing gear for a visit to the great outdoors.
Three major upcoming exhibitions in Pennsylvania will help with that.
Outdoor show season kicks off this weekend with the Pittsburgh RV Show January 7-15 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.
Billed as the longest-running indoor RV show in the country, it will be filled with campers of all sizes, from some that can be towed by a motorcycle to those that can be driven like a bus.
More than a dozen RV dealers will be exhibiting their inventory along with another 80 companies ranging from RV sites to home improvement companies to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Visit pittrvshow.com for ticket information and more details.
Another show near Pittsburgh hasn’t happened in a few years.
The USA International Sportmen’s Show and Outdoor Recreation & Travel takes over the Monroeville Convention Center February 17-19.
David Stoner, promoter and owner of the Family Festivals Association, bought the Allegheny Outdoor, Sport and Travel Show, held at the same location for 36 years. The last show took place in 2000, just before the start of the global pandemic.
“I really felt like the show needed a breath of fresh air,” he said of the event’s renaming. “It’s new in many ways.”
Stoner is using its more than 40 years of exhibition experience to make this year’s event bigger, with 160 vendors and outfitters, he said. In addition to hunting, camping and fishing, e-bikes and kayaks are offered.
Something new for this year: Stoner plans to have three gun dealers participate with their rifles and shotguns. In the past, the show couldn’t have arms dealers because of a conflict with other events in the area, he said.
There will be three boat dealers and several RV dealers bringing their boats and RVs to the event.
He is also planning more seminars and speakers than before. He expects about 15 speakers, ranging from a deer processor to a Pennsylvania Game Commission representative speaking on a proposal to reintroduce martens into the wild.
They put former Pittsburgh Steeler Brett Keisel on the promotions because he’s an avid outdoorsman and a well-known figure in the area. He will be present at the event for autographs and photos with NFL Hall of Famer Russ Grimm.
The three-day event is a family event that includes a trout pond for children to fish and a gem prospecting area.
Visit USASportsmenShow.com for ticket information and timetable details.
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The Outdoor Show near Harrisburg
In southeastern Pennsylvania, the NRA Great American Outdoor Show will be held February 4-12 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.
The event includes a variety of attractions, including a concert on February 11 by country music start Brantley Gilbert and guest Jacob Bryant.
The nine-day event is designed to celebrate hunting, fishing and outdoor traditions enjoyed by families across the country.
The show is expected to have more than 1,000 exhibitors ranging from gun manufacturers to outfitters to fishing boats, RVs, archery gear and artistry.
The 650,000-square-foot venue features a variety of interactive opportunities, including a 3D bow hunter challenge, “try before you buy” shooting ranges and a large aquarium for fishing lure demonstrations.
There are seminars and events for everyone who enjoys the outdoor life, from deer hunting, small game hunting, fishing, predator hunting, to understanding birds of prey to game cooking.
Visit greatamericanoutdoorshow.org for tickets and more details.
Make plans to visit some of the outdoor shows to fulfill your outdoor dreams and plans this year.
Brian Whipkey is the outdoor columnist for USA TODAY Network’s websites in Pennsylvania. Contact him at [email protected] and sign up for our weekly Go Outdoors PA newsletter via email on the home page of this site using your login name. Follow him on [email protected]