What you need to know before you head to the Great American Outdoor Show

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Almost 1,100 vendors set up Friday for the Great American Outdoor Show at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex.

Todd Locker has been selling fishing gear there for 25 years.

“We arrived late Tuesday evening and we were one of the first ones in on Wednesday. It takes us about two-and-a-half days to set up our display here,” said Locker, owner of Excess Goods.

He’s hoping for a huge turnout during the nine-day show.

“In Pennsylvania in general, I would say it’s huge. Especially deer season, you see trucks going into the mountains,” said Ross Patterson, tech expert with Lancaster Archery Supply.

The Farm Show Complex was packed Friday as vendors set up.
The Farm Show Complex was packed Friday as vendors set up.

“Nearly 200,000 attendees come to the Great American Outdoor Show. Last year, we had attendees from 47 states. It’s a huge economic driver for the Harrisburg and Central Pennsylvania Region,” said Jeremy Greene, director of operations marketing and media relations with the National Rifle Association.

Greene says last year’s show brought $75 million to the Harrisburg-area economy. This year’s show will feature outfitters, shooting, boats, archery, and fishing.

“Last year, a big hit of the show was the dock dogs and so we’re bringing them back this year,” Greene said. “Over 40,000 people came and watched that last year.”

Tickets are $14 for adults and $6 for kids ages 6-12.

“We’re always nervous,” Locker said. “We have so much invested, but they will come. The weather looks great. This is probably the best weather that we’ve had in years that I can remember.”

“Ready for it to get going,” Patterson said. “It’s a little rough setting up, but once it gets going, you get into the groove of things.”

Parking is $10 at the Farm Show Complex. You can park for free and take a shuttle from Bass Pro Shops at the Harrisburg Mall.

Dauphin County and other municipalities will provide security for the entire event.

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