The third-annual Great American Outdoor Show kicked off Saturday in Harrisburg, Pa., and it’s once again shaping up to be the biggest, best outdoor show in the country. Held at the sprawling Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, the show features over a thousand exhibitors, vendors, and outfitters from all over the world, showcasing everything from the latest firearms and accessories to camping gear; log cabins; everything you could want as an angler, from hand-tied flies to fishing boats; and opportunities to hunt on land from Pennsylvania to Patagonia. I’ve also been very impressed by a lot of the non-profit groups that are in attendance, from the guys at AmericanSnipers.org and the National Civil War Museum (located conveniently just down the street from the Great American Outdoor Show) to Hunts for Heroes and plenty more in between (make sure you get by the Raptors Up Close exhibition space in the Outfitters Hall for a real treat).
Photo by Michael Ives
Each and every one of the folks who are actually working at the show bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience, and you never know who you’ll find on the show floor. Over at the Adcor Defense booth (our on-location sponsor for NRA News “Cam & Co.”) you might find Medal of Honor recipient Clinton Romesha, and at the Northwoods Bear Products booth you might find World Trade Center survivor and retired Port Authority police officer Will Jimeno regaling a crowd with tales of his latest bear hunt. From warriors like retired Navy SEAL Master Chief Ron Bellan to cultural icons like Phil and Jase Robertson from “Duck Dynasty,” the Great American Outdoor Show is full of great Americans.
Photo by Michael Ives
That extends to the attendees, as well. The Great American Outdoor Show is definitely a family-friendly environment, and from our location I’ve been able to watch the folks staffing the NRA Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program display hand out hundreds of stuffed Eddie Eagles and materials to parents who want to ensure their kids grow up with a healthy respect for firearms. I’ve met cops, military veterans, active-duty soldiers, Amish and Mennonite farmers and craftsmen, and hardworking men and women from across the country who’ve come to the show to celebrate their love of the outdoors. Folks might think there aren’t any gun owners left in places like New York state or New Jersey, but even a half-hour at the Great American Outdoor Show will dispel that notion. They’re still there, and they’re still fighting for their Second Amendment rights.
If you’re heading to Harrisburg this week, I hope you have a great time. If you don’t have plans to attend this year, make sure you put it on your schedule for 2017. It’s an event unlike any other, and if you love the great outdoors, you’ll love the Great American Outdoor Show as well.