Organizers of the 28th Allegheny Sport, Travel & Outdoor Show want to emphasize the family aspect of the event.
The show, which runs from Wednesday through Sunday at Monroeville Convention Center, is the only western Pennsylvania event dedicated to hunting, fishing and camping.
It offers hundreds of exhibitors, dozens of live demonstrations and a number of seminars presented by experts in their fields of interest.
Chris Fassnacht, exposition producer, said Cleveland-based Expositions Inc. is experiencing a ripple effect from the postponement of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 2-10 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.
The show was postponed indefinitely following severe backlash over a recently enacted policy banning the display and sale of “modern sporting rifles” or semiautomatic rifles.
“Because of the postponement, we have had as many as 80 calls from vendors wanting to redirect and come to Monroeville,” Fassnacht said. “I had to turn 80 percent of them away because we have limited space and our booths are normally fully booked by New Year’s Day.”
The event will offer outdoor enthusiasts the widest selection of products and services – from canoes to cruisers, RVs to tents, tourism to hunting and fishing.
“We consider this a family show and not a hard-core gun show,” Fassnacht said.
The event will offer several new exhibits.
“New for this year will be Wild World of Animals from Eighty-Four (Washington County)” Fassnacht said.
Grant Kemmerer will showcase his wild menagerie of exotic and lethal creatures, including an African spotted leopard, cougar, North American grizzly bear, albino monocled cobra and even an alligator.
Kemmerer offers a fast-paced, entertaining and educational program full of laughs and exciting animal adventures.
Fishing enthusiasts have an opportunity to attend a jigging-for-bass seminar conducted by Pennsylvania expert Dennis Tubbs.
Safari Club International will distribute free fluorescent orange hunting vests to the first 50 youngsters ages 15 and younger who visit the group’s booth Saturday and Sunday.
The first 50 children who register at the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s booth and attend its safety seminar will receive a free personal flotation device.
The popular indoor trout pond returns to offer novice enthusiasts a chance to practice their casting and angling skills.
“The trout pond is a must-have when we talk about this show,” Fassnacht said.
He said vendors will be offering a lot of soft goods such as clothing, outerwear, boots, socks and leather goods.
“Variety is the best way to describe this show,” Fassnacht said.
A number of boat dealers will be making a splash at the show.
A range of boats for hard-core fishermen will be on display as well as leisure pontoon vessels for families.
“Vic’s Sports Center from Ohio will be bringing the brand new line of aluminum boats by Ranger,” he said.
The show offers folks an opportunity to coordinate family camping adventures, fishing charters and hunting excursions.
Sportsmen will also want to check out the rods, reels, lures, hunting gear, electronic navigational devices and other equipment that is slated to be on sale at some of the best prices of the season.
“This is one-stop shopping for avid fans of outdoor sports to get the information and advice they need in one location,” Fassnacht said.
From booking a trip to buying a boat or just having fun with the kids, the show offers a range of activities.
“We are easy on the family budget because someone could bring eight kids and two adults for $20 because children 12 and under and parking are free,” Fassnacht said.
Show hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; noon to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
If you go ...
What: 28th annual Allegheny Sport, Travel and Outdoor Show.
Where: Monroeville Convention Center, 209 Mall Blvd., Monroeville.
When: Wednesday through Sunday.
Tickets: At the door.
Cost: $10 for adults; children ages 12 and younger admitted free with paying adult.