HARRISBURG – Now in its 57th year, the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, which takes place Saturday-Sunday, Feb 4-12, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, continues to find ways to improve and present new attractions for sportsmen of every interest.
Already the largest show of its kind in the nation, this year's preview of the show for the outdoors media revealed it will feature more firearms manufacturers, more fishing products, more outfitters, guides and charters and more opportunities to learn from world-famous experts. With more than 1,200 exhibitors and more than 200 companies that are new exhibitors to the show, this year's event will provide a special experience for from the novice to the seasoned sportsman.
Of special interests to hunters is the debut of the "Sportsman's Shop Gun Alley," which will present more firearms manufacturers, representatives and retailers than ever before, and for bowhunters there are two archery halls. Returning are firearms manufactures such as Thompson/Center Arms, Benelli and Stoeger, and for the first time Smith & Wesson is an exhibitor.
Of special interest to anglers and boaters is an expanded fishing and boat hall, which includes seminar areas to learn the newest techniques and test the latest tackle. In addition, there are hundreds of hunting and fishing guides and outfitters located throughout the show.
"We've worked very hard to uncover new companies, new products and bring in more celebrities and experts offering their latest tips and techniques," ESOS events director Chris O'Hara said. "Anyone who wants to know what's new for the coming season cannot afford to miss this show.
"This year, we have more than 200 new exhibitors with more manufacturers than ever before, featuring the biggest names in archery. We have Hoyt USA, Fred Bear Archery, Summit Treestands and returning after a five-year hiatus is Muzzy Products.
"Cabela's and BassPro Shops will both be retailing fishing tackle and related products. When we surveyed people attending the show, they wanted more fishing products, so our fishing hall just keeps growing and growing."
Added space has been provided this year for more displays of boats, ATVs and RVs, and a wide range of celebrity guests and seminar speakers will meet fans and provide expert advice and instruction throughout the show. Among those scheduled to appear are Fred Eichler, Greg and Jake Miller, Craig Boddington, Ralph and Vicki Cianciarulo, Lee and Tiffany Lakosky, Barry and Gene Wensel, Sean Mann, Chuck Adams, Pat Reeve and Nicole Jones, Jimmy Houston, Hank Parker, Dave Csanda and Frank Nale.
Providing attractions and entertainment for youth and the family is a mainstay of the ESOS, and this year's presentations will include Raptors Up Close, Chris Brackett Archery Trick Shooting, Kids Trout Pond and a newly revamped Kids Day, Saturday, Feb. 11. Also, the Kids Casting Contest will be held both Sunday, Feb. 5, and Sunday, Feb. 11, and the winners advance to the Pennsylvania BASSMASTERS Championship and all entrants receiver fishing products donated by show exhibitors.
Among the most popular attractions of the ESOS is the variety of calling and other outdoors-related contests, which draw entries from the United State, Canada and beyond. This year's events include the 22nd Annual Northeastern States Elk Calling Contest, with a Youth and Adult Division; Duck and Goose Calling; Owl Hooting; Turkey Calling, with a Youth Division, Amateur Adult Division, Professional Open Division and Professional Friction Division; Pennsylvania Fly Tying Championship; Pennsylvania 3D Bowhunters Challenge and Keystone IBO Indoor Nationals; Susquehanna Rife Waterfowlers Association Gunning Decoy Contest; Taxidermy Competition and Photography Contest.
Among the educational seminars will be Sausage and Jerky Making with Rick Fetrow, Deer Butchering with Chef Albert Wutsch, Fly Casting Demos with Dusty Wissmath and Frank Angelo and a chance to win a one-on-one archery skills seminar with Chuck Adams. A complete schedule of seminars, entertainment programs, contests, list of exhibitors and ticket information is available on the ESOS website at www.easternsportshow.com .