Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show
The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show was an outdoor hunting and fishing exposition held annually at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the United States, and was the largest show of its kind in North America. The event was first held in 1955 and attracted outdoor sports enthusiasts from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Washington D.C.. The annual event was known to showcase the very latest that hunting and fishing had to offer, including services, gear, expert advice, seminars and competition shooting. It included more than 1,000 hunting and fishing related vendors and over 500 outfitters from around the world.
On January 15, 2013 Reed Exhibitions, the promoter of the show, announced that modern sporting rifles (MSR's) and related products would not be permitted at the show. Following the announcement, hundreds of its exhibitors and most of its celebrity speakers cancelled. Following opposition by the National Rifle Association, and a statement by the National Shooting Sports Foundation that they would stop co-organizing with Reed for their annual SHOT Show, Reed announced the indefinite postponement of the ESOS.
On April 15, 2013, the National Rifle Association said it was selected to run an outdoors show next year in Harrisburg, stepping in after organizers canceled a similar event in February because their assault weapons ban created an uproar.
The NRA said the nine-day event, to be held at the Farm Show Complex, will be called the Great American Outdoor Show.
The show will be the successor to the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, which drew a backlash and vendor boycott after organizers imposed a ban on assault weapons in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting.
The NRA said its show will feature shooting, hunting, fishing and boating.
NRA president David Keene, in Harrisburg for the announcement, said the organization would encourage firearms manufacturers to participate.
WHTM-TV said Keene envisions a national event that would include a country music concert and celebrity appearances. He said the contract was for two years but hoped to extend it after that.
The NRA beat out 16 other hopefuls to take over the show, which had been run by Reed Exhibitions.
- Show information Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show, accessed February 8, 2010.
- 2010 Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show Features More The Outdoor Wire, accessed February 8, 2010.
- Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show: What Postponement of the U.S.'s Largest Gun Show Says About America