Pittsburgh outdoor show postponed; Harrisburg show still planned

Brian Whipkey
Pennsylvania Outdoor Columnist

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has delayed a western Pennsylvania outdoor show for the second year, but a similar style event is still underway in Harrisburg.

The 37th annual Allegheny Outdoor, Sport and Travel Show has been postponed because of the rise in COVID Omicron numbers. It was scheduled to be held Feb. 18-20 at the Monroeville Convention Center.

This screenshot of the sportandtravel.com website reveals the 37th Annual Allegheny Outdoor, Sport & Travel Show has been postponed.

“I don’t personally want to establish a date that’s not realistic,” show manager Chris Fassnacht said Wednesday morning in a telephone interview about having the show later this year. He said the coronavirus numbers are putting the show in a bad place all around.

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In a letter to exhibitors, he wrote: “The Pandemic/Covid/Omicron Virus has spread rapidly resulting in a gigantic spike of Cases/Infections in Greater Pittsburgh that is expected to last into February before “peaking,”  according to County, Commonwealth and Federal Health departments/agencies. Our highest priority is always the health and safety of our Exhibitor/Vendor clients as well as the general public audience, thus postponing the Show is the responsible thing to do.”

The event was canceled last year because of the public restrictions in place because of the pandemic.

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NRA Great American Outdoor Show

Another large outdoor event is still scheduled to be held next month. The NRA Great American Outdoor Show is planned Feb. 5-13 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. 

It’s billed as the world’s largest outdoor show.

A screenshot of the greatamericanoutdoorshow.org website announcing the NRA Great American Outdoor Show will be held Feb. 5-13 in Harrisburg.

“After a brief hiatus due to pandemic restrictions, we are thrilled to once again gather in Dauphin County for the world’s largest outdoor show,” Joe DeBergalis, NRA executive director of general operations, said in a Jan. 6 news release. “The National Rifle Association membership is made up of millions of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts, and no group does more to support, defend, and promote our cherished outdoor traditions than the NRA. Next month, the nation’s best outfitters, outdoor experts, and retailers will gather in Harrisburg for a show you will not want to miss!”

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The show is expected to have more than 1,000 exhibitors ranging from shooting suppliers to outfitters to fishing boats and RVs, and archery to art, covering 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space. 

The schedule also includes country concerts, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars and demonstrations.

Brian Whipkey is the outdoor columnist for USA TODAY Network sites in Pennsylvania. Contact him at bwhipkey@gannett.com and sign up for our weekly Go Outdoors PA newsletter email on your website's homepage under your login name. Follow him on social media @whipkeyoutdoors.