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2016 Great American Outdoor Show: What's New & Who's Coming!

Published: Feb 1, 2016

IMPORTANT EDITORIAL NOTE: The following is a compilation of information presented by the HHRVB on the 2016 Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA from Feb. 6-14, 2016. The information provided is from multiple sources including PennLive.com & Patriot-News and Official Press Releases from the show producer.

What's New at the 2016 Great American Outdoor Show

Jumping Dogs, Birds of Prey & All-Star Guests Including Country Concert by Justin Moore... and More!


February 1, 2016 - Marcus Schneck – PennLive.com - LINK

GAOS - Manufacturer Display

Above: National manufacturers are bringing their A-game and top-level, national-show exhibits to the Great American Outdoor Show. (MARCUS SCHNECK, mschneck@pennlive.com)

Great American Outdoor Show 2016

All Stories

Long-time visitors to the old Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show – the predecessor of the Great American Outdoor Show – may see hints of the popular lumberjack water show in some of the new entertainment coming to the show this year.

The Dock Dogs Jumping Contest, a canine water sports demonstration, will do two water shows per day Saturday, Feb. 6, through Wednesday, Feb. 10, in the Large Arena of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Convention Center.

The Large Arena will then be closed for the next two days as crews prepare for the Phil Robertson UnMuzzled program, with warm-up by Montdale country singer Nate Hosie, Friday, Feb. 12, and the NRA Country Concert featuring country star Justin Moore and special guest Ben Gallagher, an up-and-coming country artist from Camp Hill, Saturday, Feb. 13. Here's more about Phil Robertson appearance at the Great American Outdoor Show.

Another program change, moving the Birds of Prey: The Ultimate Hunter into the Small Arena, should make more visitors aware of the program and give them better vantage points for watching it. The program, which features live raptors and covers everything from the birds' biology to their relationships with humans to falconry, will be held each day of the show, Saturday, Feb. 6, through Sunday, Feb. 14.

"We're trying to always add a bunch of different events for the family," said Jeremy Greene, director of marketing and media relations for NRA General Operations.

He also anticipates that Pyramyd Air will expand the air gun range again this year. The range, part of the of the show's family-oriented offerings, provides visitors with the chance the use a variety of air guns at targets ranging from animal silhouettes to spinning metal plates.

The Fishing Hall also will be expanded with more exhibitors, retailers, captains and guides this year.

"We really focused on fishing this year," said Greene. "We got a lot of feedback last year for more fishing."

Visitors should expect the Shooting Sports Hall to continue its upgrading also, as more of the national manufacturers bring their top-level, national, industry-show exhibits to Harrisburg.

Greene said their initial hesitance over a long, nine-day show has transformed into a recognition that the Great American Outdoor Show allows for considerable consumer research into future product alterations and additions.

While visitors from 43 states attended last year's show, the growing prominence of the event in Central Pennsylvania affords residents here an enhanced position in influencing product changes and new directions.

Although it's not really a part of the show that most visitors will even know is happening, another programming change will bring Bass University to a meeting room in the complex on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 6 and 7. Bass University brings together a half-dozen bass fishing pros to offer one- or two-day programs in various venues. Here's more about Bass University.

Many repeat visitors will notice the change from the unwieldly, tabloid newspaper-sized program guide for the show to a slick, 70- to 76-page magazine this year. The pocket guide and map to the show, which was a bit hit with visitors last year, will be back again this year.


2016 Great American Outdoor Show Announces All-Star Guest List 

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The 2016 Great American Outdoor Show will feature appearances by some of the biggest names in the outdoor industry. Fans will have the opportunity to meet, greet and hear from some of their favorite professional sportsmen and women between February 6th and 14th in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Kawasaki Powersports newest family member, six-time World Wrestling Federation Champion and WWE Hall of Fame member “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will host an autograph session February 10 at the Kawasaki Booth. Fans will be allowed one autograph and one photo each with the host of hit CMT shows Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge and Redneck Island.

Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson will share his strong beliefs in liberty and the protections afforded to us in the Constitution at UnMuzzled: Phil Robertson Talks God, Guns, and Country on February 12 at the Large Arena. Joining Phil as musical entertainment will be lifelong hunter and HeadHunter TV host Nate Hosie.

Attendees will also get to hear from Duck Dynasty star Jase Robertson, professional archer and Fear No Evil host Chris Brackett, nine-time UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes, American hunting couple Lee and Tiffany Lakosky, rough and tough Texas Brian “Pigman” Quaca, and everyone's favorite Gunny, R. Lee Ermey.

Fishing enthusiasts interested in learning to catch more big bass will have the chance to learn from pro anglers at The Bass University with Mike “Ike” Iaconelli, Ott DeFoe, Ish Monroe, Jacob Prowroznik, Pete Gluszek, and John Crews.

The Great American Outdoor Show celebrates the outdoor traditions treasured by millions of Americans and their families in a 650,000 square foot exhibit space that will feature nearly 1,100 exhibitors, including shooting manufacturers, outfitters, boat and RV dealers, hunting and fishing retailers, and much more.

To see the full schedule of celebrity appearances, and to purchase tickets to the Great American Outdoor Show, visit us at www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org.

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.


Bass University coming to Great American Outdoor Show

Bass University will join the Great American Outdoor Show this year at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.

Jan. 31, 2016 – By Marcus Schneck – PennLive.com - LINK

Bass University Logo - For Great American Outdoor Show 2016The Bass University of one- and two-day slate of classes taught by professional bass anglers is coming to the Great American Outdoor Show, or at least the first weekend of the show, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 6-7, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, Harrisburg.

Although some of the pros leading the classes also will be presenting seminars and demonstrations during the show, which runs Saturday, Feb. 6, through Sunday, Feb. 14, Bass University is not included with show admission and not even noticeable to most show visitors. It will be held in the same complex of halls, but in a separate meeting room off the main floor.

Admission to Bass University is $109 for one day or $199 for both days, $97 or $175 for students ages 17 and under.

The pros scheduled for Saturday are Mike Iaconelli, Ott DeFoe and Ish Monroe, and for Sunday are Jacob Powroznik, Pete Gluszek and John Crews. That lineup could change because of emergencies or weather conditions.

They will give students an in-depth look at their individual mind-sets and unique fishing styles. Each one will present two 45 minute programs on cutting-edge bass fishing tactics and techniques, and then take questions from students.

Each day also includes a breakout session designed for an up-close learning experience and a question and answer roundtable discussion among all three pros for that day.

Learn more at the Bass University website.


Local recording artist to open country concert for Justin Moore at GAOS 2016

January 19, 2016 – by Jason Maddux – PennLive.com - LINK

A Cedar Cliff High School graduate who is now a Nashville-based country singer will help open the 2016 Great American Outdoor Show. 

Ben Gallaher Performing - GAOS2016


PHOTO: Ben Gallaher will play at the Great American Outdoor Show on Feb. 13 at the Farm Show Complex. (Justin Harris)


Ben Gallaher graduated in 2010 and signed a record deal with Sony Music Nashville in 2014. In 2015, he signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing. He lives in Nashville when he's not touring. He will open for Justin Moore on Feb. 13.

"I have attended the outdoor show for years with my family and have grown up hunting, fishing, and camping in central Pennsylvania. It's an honor to return to my hometown and open this show," he said in a news release. "I remember seeing Justin Moore perform at the PA Farm Show Complex years ago, and I am beyond excited to open for him in the same arena."

Now 23, he spent one year at Penn State University and transferred to Nashville's Belmont University where he graduated in May 2014 with a degree in Entertainment Industry Studies. Ben Gallaher and his band performed to approximately 500 fans at a free concert at the Pennsylvania Farm Show's Large Arena on the evening of Jan. 3.

"I write about the common man, because those are the people I grew up with. In every song there's a story about life, and what we hope to become and the highs and lows on our journey," he said of his songwriting, according to his website.

Tickets range from $25 in the upper arena to $85 for pit access. Learn more about getting tickets here. 


Great American Outdoor Show Ranks Top Privately Produced Event for Economic Impact in the Hershey Harrisburg Region According to Tourism Officials

The Great American Outdoor Show Returns to the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in the Hershey Harrisburg Region Feb. 6-14, 2016

The Economic Impact of the Great American Outdoor Show on the regional economy has been estimated at $73 million annually according to the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau. This event is the second largest for attendance & impact on the Harrisburg area behind the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show. The Great American is the largest privately produced show in the Hershey Harrisburg Region. The PA Farm Show is produced by the PA Department of Agriculture. Read more...


NRA again donates $50,000 to Central PA Organizations in ongoing commitment to the region that is home to the Great American Outdoor Show

NRA Donates $50,000 to Central Pennsylvania Organizations

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Through its fundraising efforts at the enormously popular Great American Outdoor Show, the National Rifle Association has donated $50,000 to several central Pennsylvania organizations who promote the outdoor lifestyle through educational and recreational activities. The 2016 donation is a follow up to the donation of a $50,000 fully equipped Police Cruiser to the Harrisburg, PA Police Department in 2015.

Donations were made through The NRA Foundation, America’s leading charitable organization in support of the shooting sports. The National Civil War Museum, one of the four recipients, was selected for its educational contributions. In association with the Smithsonian Institution, the museum showcases a comprehensive portrayal of the American Civil War through a collection of more than 24,000 artifacts. The National Civil War Museum will be using funds from The NRA Foundation to construct a new exhibit recognizing firearm manufacturers of the Civil War era that are still in operation today as well as highlighting gun safety programs and firearm education and training offered through the NRA.

"The Civil War was one of the most turbulent eras in our nation's history and we pride ourselves in our museum's unbiased look at its people, events, and technology," said The National Civil Museums Board Chairman Michael Love. "Thanks to this generous donation by the NRA, we look forward to enhancing a number of our exhibits."

Soldier statue at National Civil War MuseumA Moment for A Monument: Above a family takes a moment in front of The National Civil War Museum perched high upon a hill overlooking Harrisburg, PA to learn about this important statue entitled "Moment of Mercy." The sculpture depicts a selfless act of a soldier of the Confederacy who during a lull in the Battle of Fredericksburg risked his life to give water to wounded Union soldiers who were lying wounded and dying in a “no man’s land” between the opposing armies.

The three other groups benefiting from the NRA’s donations are All 4 Kids Hunting, dedicated to inspiring and educating youth on wildlife conservation through a safe introduction to hunting; LEEK Hunting & Mountain Preserve, which facilitates outdoor recreational opportunities for wounded veterans; and Camo Cares, an annual recreational event that raises funds to send children with life-threatening illnesses and wounded veterans on hunts.

“Providing dream hunts for children and veterans who have faced tremendous hardships is an incredibly fulfilling act,” said Camo Cares co-founder Jason Say. “The NRA’s donation will go a long way toward increasing the number of hunts we will arrange this coming year.”

“We are grateful for the role these organizations play in continuing our country’s great shooting traditions,” said NRA General Operations Executive Director Kyle Weaver. “The success of the Great American Outdoor Show grants us the opportunity to give back to the community that sustains it and we look forward to assisting programs who support the outdoor lifestyle for years to come.”

The nine day celebration of outdoor traditions is the largest consumer sports and outdoor show in the world and returns to Harrisburg, February 6-14, 2016. Learn more about the Great American Outdoor Show at www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org.

NRA Check Presentation for new police cruiser for City of Harrisburg in 2015.

Pictured Above: In December 2014 the NRA contributed a new police cruiser worth $50,000 to the City of Harrisburg and the Harrisburg Police Department. (L-R) Mary Smith, President & CEO of the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau; Ryan Hoffman, VP & Marketing Director; Jeff Haste, Dauphin County Commissioner; Jeff Poole, Managing Director, Shows & Exhibits at National Rifle Association (NRA); David Black, President & CEO for CREDC & Harrisburg Regional Chamber.

Read the full press release on the 2014 contribution...

About The NRA Foundation

Established in 1990, The NRA Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that raises tax-deductible contributions in support of a wide range of firearm-related public interest activities of the National Rifle Association of America and other organizations that defend and foster the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans. These activities are designed to promote firearm and hunting safety, to enhance marksmanship skills of those participating in the shootings sports, and to educate the general public about firearms in their historic, technological, and artistic context.  More information about The NRA Foundation can be found online at www.nrafoundation.org.


2016 Great American Outdoor Show Mobile App Now Available on Apple App Store and Google Play

HARRISBURG, Pa. – GAOS 2016, the official mobile app for the National Rifle Association’s Great American Outdoor Show, is now available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The free app provides users with information to plan their experience at the February 6-14 Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Features on GAOS 2016 include an exhibitor list, floor plan, events schedule, new products and product categories, directions, up-to-the-minute show notifications, and more. Users may also create a list of favorite exhibitors, plan an agenda of seminars, and take notes for quick reference. Download GAOS 2016, purchase tickets to this year’s show, and see a complete list of events at www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org.

Enhance your experience at this year’s Great American Outdoor Show by liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GreatAmericanOutdoorShow and following us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NRA_GAOS. You’ll receive the latest show news and see exclusive photos. Additionally, NRA News Cam & Company will be broadcasting live from the Great American Outdoor Show February 8 and 9 from 2pm to 5pm EST and will feature live shots and guest interviews February 10-14 for the remainder of the show. Tune in at www.nranews.com.




Mary Smith, President & CEO of the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau is available for media interviews regarding the contents of this news release. 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.



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The HHRVB is the official non-profit partnership-based Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) leading economic growth for Pennsylvania’s Hershey & Harrisburg Region through destination marketing and tourism development. The organization, accredited by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) since 2010, is committed to actively marketing the tourism assets in Dauphin & Perry County to business and leisure travelers both domestic & international. The bureau also leads regional sales efforts to attract meeting & event organizers, sporting event producers, and group tour leaders. For more information go to VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org or call 877-727-8573. Media can use #HHRVB and #HHRVB4Media when tagging stories and social media posts related to the region.

Author: Rick Dunlap

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