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2014 Great American Outdoor Show: NRA shares vision to greatly expand upon previous shows

Published: Apr 19, 2013

NRA shares vision for new Great American Outdoor Show that greatly expands on previous shows at PA Farm Show Complex.

NRA outlines new approach for vision of an outdoor show that goes beyond the exhibit halls with concerts and special events.

Event producers envision turning a traditional consumer show into an annual festival for the Great American outdoor enthusiast.

HARRISBURG, PA – Only days after announcing it will produce the new “Great American Outdoor Show” in Harrisburg, PA in February 2014, the National Rifle Association publicly introduced some of the new features included in their competitive proposal that bested 16 other event producers vying for the coveted opportunity to produce an outdoor show at the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center.

“The proposal was a grand vision that took the concept of an outdoor show to a new level,” said Mary Smith, President of the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB). “The NRA envisions not simply recreating a 10-day consumer show, but instead building an annual gathering that is more like a festival for the Great American outdoor enthusiast.”

According to the NRA’s press release, the Great American Outdoor Show won't end when the exhibit hall closes each day. NRA Country concerts, fundraising dinner banquets, seminars and speaking events from some of the country's best-known personalities will fill the evenings to enhance attendees overall event experience. The NRA has over 142 years of experience producing large shows from its yearly NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, the most recent of which occurred May 3-5, 2013 in Houston with an expected attendance of over 70,000.

“The boycott of this year’s [outdoor] show displayed a real solidarity among the outdoor community, but left a lot of people seeking answers after the cancellation,” said David Keene, National Rifle Association President. “We heard from many exhibitors and many more of our members who expressed their disappointment and were concerned about the future of an outdoor show in Harrisburg. The NRA, as an exhibitor at the show for over 30 years, and with 900,000 of our nearly five million members within 300 miles of Harrisburg, the decision to offer our support was unanimous.”

Like the NRA Annual Meetings, firearms at the Great American Outdoor Show will be display only. However, the NRA plans to expand the presence of firearms, including Modern Sporting Rifles, by inviting national firearms and accessory manufacturers to participate in a new shooting section that will join the show’s traditional hunting, fishing, archery, camping and boating areas.

“Harrisburg is a great venue to showcase the NRA’s education, training and safety programs,” said Kyle Weaver, Executive Director of NRA General Operations. “It will also allow other conservation and outdoors organizations the ability to highlight activities through partnerships and alliances with NRA.”

Jeff Poole, Director of Membership Programs and Show Manager for the NRA Annual Meetings will take charge of directing the Great American Outdoor Show. Although produced by the NRA, the show will be open to all who enjoy the sporting and outdoor lifestyle.

"We look forward to continuing the tradition of a well-rounded sport show in Harrisburg, PA and are positive our plans will excite both new and returning exhibitors," said Poole.

For information about exhibiting at the Great American Outdoor Show call 1-866-343-1805 or visit www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org. Follow the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #GR8AmericanShow2014

Author: Rick Dunlap

Public Relations Director
Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau
3211 North Front Street, Suite 301 A, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Rick@HersheyHarrisburg.org
Rick's Twitter 
Cell: 717.884.3328

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