At least promoters will not have to worry about a playoff run by the Bears
impacting the outdoor show season this winter.
Any questions about the durability of outdoor shows in the Chicago market
in the Internet era were answered during the historic winter of 2013-14. Every
weekend, from the first in January through early March, had some form of
nasty travel weather, yet shows endured.
A few changes and tweaks come for the 2015 show season.
As usual, the All-Canada Show will kick off the season at Pheasant Run,
beginning Jan. 8. The first change is the same weekend. The Chicago Muskie
Show is history; but the MUSKIE EXPO Chicago comes to the Sears Centre
Arena on Jan. 9-11.
I am so happy that the three big January shows will not overlap this year.
The “Boat Show,’’ the Progressive Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail Show, as the name implies, combines two shows and moves to the bigger South Hall
at McCormick Place, Jan. 14-18.
Rosemont is again scheduled for the top all-round outdoors show. The
Chicago Outdoor Sports Show is Jan. 21-25 at the Stephens Convention
Center. That Cook County anomaly–the Chicagoland Gun Show–is scheduled
to be colocated that Friday-Sunday.
What has quickly become the big show, one of the major fishing shows in
the country, the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo (photo above),
is Jan. 29-Feb. 1 at the Schaumburg Convention Center. Out of its all-star fishing
lineup–national and local–I most look forward to Mark Zona, who combines
national and local (hello Homewood).
The Tinley Park Fishing and Outdoor Show, which has become the anchor show
in the market, is Feb. 7-8.
A couple other changes should be noted. The Hammond show will not be held
this year and the Chicago Maritime Festival has made moved to
The Old Town School of Folk Music and a later date, April 18.
Speaking of dates, fishermen will need to juggle on March 7 when the Indoor
Fishing Flea Market; the Salmon Unlimited Swap Meet; Illinois Smallmouth
Alliance’s Bronzeback Blowout and the inaugural Lake Michigan School with
Capt. Ralph Steiger will all be held.
I will post a master list of all shows within a drive of a few hours, including
the one-day gatherings, on the Sun-Times online outdoors page and have
the usual weekly note as they roll around over the next four months.
It’s that time.