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2016 Great American: Largest Consumer Outdoor & Sports Show in U.S. Returns to HHR in Feb.

Published: Jan 7, 2016

2016 Great American Outdoor Show, presented by Outdoor Channel, returns to the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center from February 6-14, 2016.


Tickets on sale now for largest consumer outdoor & sports show in U.S. returning to Harrisburg, PA this February

HARRISBURG, PA (January 7, 2016) – When online ticket sales began in early December 2015 it officially signaled the return of the Great American Outdoor Show (GAOS) to Pennsylvania’s Hershey Harrisburg Region (HHR).

The nine-day event, produced by the National Rifle Association, will return for the third consecutive year to the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center (FSC) in Harrisburg, PA from February 6-14, 2016. Buy Online Tickets HERE.

The show, presented by the Outdoor Channel, is considered the largest consumer outdoor and sports show in the U.S. with more than 1,100 exhibitors throughout the 650,000 square-foot complex located in Pennsylvania’s Capital City. See Floor Plan of Show HERE.

Great American Outdoor Show

“The NRA has continued to exceed our expectations with improving this show since they began producing it in 2014,” said Mary Smith, President & CEO for the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau. “Our region has hosted an outdoor show in some form for over 65-years and this tradition has become a critical piece of our region’s lodging and hospitality business.”

In 2013 the region realized exactly how critical this piece of business was to their 80 regional hotels and related businesses that rely on an influx of tourist spending in the early winter shoulder season. That year tourism officials reported the region lost an estimated $70 million when Reed Exhibitions cancelled their Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show after vendors organized a boycott related to the producer’s decision that year to ban assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines.

Since the NRA took over the tradition with their vision for an outdoor and sports show in 2014, tourism officials have reported strong attendance numbers and steady increases in the economic impact each year.

In 2014 the bureau reported a 23 percent increase in attendance compared to the previous year with a show (2012) and in 2015 attendance grew another 2.3 percent according to HHRVB. Lodging numbers reported by hotel partners increased 23 percent in 2014 and another 14 percent during the same 10-day period in 2015.

Following the GAOS in 2015, tourism officials estimated the economic impact for the region was $73 million.

The NRA has been credited by exhibitors and attendees alike for producing a more organized show that addresses the overall visitor experience including designating more thematic areas such as a Shooting Sports Hall, Fishing Hall, Archery Hall, Boating Hall, Camping Hall and more.

Youth bow practice at the Great American Outdoor Show

The event producers say they’ve strived to expand the overall experience to be more focused on celebrating the outdoor and sportsman’s lifestyle. Producers have also expanded the show beyond the walls of the Farm Show Complex to make this week more of a destination experience for attendees. This vision was a key factor in the decision to give the NRA an opportunity to produce the show, according to Smith.

“The NRA’s blueprint for this show included evening events and concerts which utilize our region’s other special event venues and ample meeting spaces,” said Smith. “It was a game changer compared to the scope of the show under previous show producers.”

In addition to the demonstrations, educational seminars, archery competitions, celebrity appearances and presentations, attendees can now purchase tickets to attend the NRA Foundation Banquet & Auction and an NRA Country concert in the evenings.

The evening events now give people more reason to be out after the show and patronizing local businesses, which supports the region’s economy, according to Smith.

Exhibitor List

Floor Plan

Ticket Prices/Show Hours

Adult: $13.00

Child (6-12): $6.00

Senior (65 or older): $11.00

2-Day Pass: $22.00

Group ticket: $11 (10 or more)

February 6, 2016 (Saturday) - 9am - 7pm
February 7, 2016 (Sunday) - 10am - 5pm 
February 8 - February 12, 2016 (Mon-Fri) - 10am - 7pm 
February 13, 2016 (Saturday) - 9am - 7pm
February 14, 2016 (Sunday) - 10am - 5pm

Special Events

NRA Country Presents Justin Moore: Join NRA Country's own Justin Moore on Saturday, February 13 for a night of belt buckles, cowboy hats, and country music in the Large Arena.

UnMuzzled: Phil Robertson Talks Gods, Guns and Country: Past the beard and main stream media smears, Phil Robertson is a man who strongly believes in the liberty and the protections afforded by our Constitution. Get inspired by his words Friday, February 12 in the Large Arena.

DockDogs Jumping Contest: DockDogs is the world’s premiere canine aquatics competition. If your dog loves to run, jump, and swim, see just how fast and far they can go Saturday, February 6 in the Large Arena.

Hunting Mature Whitetails - Q&A with Lee & Tiffany: Learn to hunt whitetails like a pro in this interactive seminar with hunters and TV personalities Lee and Tiffany Lakosky

Archery Trick Shooting - Fear No Evil Style with Chris Brackett: Professional archer Chris Brackett knows his way around a bow. See him pull off some incredible trick shots February 7, 8, & 12 in the Small Arena.

3D Bowhunter Challenge: How good are you with a bow? Test your accuracy in this 30-shot course as one of 17 classes, held every day in the Indoor Archery Range.

Family Fun Zone: Open each day of the show, this special area for families and youth has hands-on activities for all ages.

NRA 3 Gun Experience: Experience the fast-growing and ever-popular 3-Gun shooting sport every day of the Great American Outdoor Show in a recreational format designed to showcase its fun and safe aspects through AirSoft.

Wall of Guns: Running the entire show, this popular NRA Foundation raffle sees winners get to choose their prize from more than 40 firearms and awesome gear.

Pyramyd AirAir Gun Range: Open every day and staffed by NRA Range Safety Officers, this multi-lane air gun range is stocked with the latest air rifles and air pistols on the market.

NRA Foundation Banquet: Celebrate American values on Saturday, February 6 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex with a night of food, fun, and fundraising with chances to bid on and win unique firearms, merchandise, and hunts.


MEDIA INTERVIEWS                                                                                       

Mary Smith, President & CEO of the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau is available for media interviews regarding the economic impact of the Great American Outdoor Show. For scheduling purposes, please try to make interview requests at least 12-hours in advance. The bureau will make every effort to accommodate all interview requests. Contact Rick@HersheyHarrisburg.org or cell 717.884.3328.


About the National Rifle Association                                                              

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. Five million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and is the leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military. Visit http://nra.org.


About Outdoor Channel                                                                                   

Outdoor Channel has been taking viewers across America and around the world on unparalleled adventures since 1993. Dedicated to the outdoor lifestyle and conservation, the independent cable network is a division of Outdoor Sportsman Group and provides a complete spectrum of riveting hunting, fishing, shooting and adventure entertainment. Outdoor Channel is received by more than 40 million U.S. households – the largest outdoor TV footprint in the country – and is available in more than 50 countries internationally. Outdoor Channel can be viewed in HD and is accessible by broadband and mobile platforms. For program times and other information, visit www.outdoorchannel.com. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and download our iPhone and iPad app. #WhatGetsYouOutdoors 

Author: Rick Dunlap

Public Relations Director
Visit Hershey & Harrisburg
3211 North Front Street, Suite 301 A, Harrisburg, PA 17110