Steven Rinella rocked the last National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic banquet so much that he will be back to do it again this winter.
The difference is that Pheasant Fest will be making its first appearance in Illinois, Feb. 22-24 at Schaumburg Convention Center. That will be the highlight of the outdoor show season around Chicago this winter.
Pheasant Fest is for more than pheasant and quail hunters. There are significant events around pollinators and roadside habitat, too.
I am really looking forward to this and plan on being there every day.
Rinella, host of MeatEater television and podcast, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet on Saturday, Feb. 23.
More to come on Pheasant Fest.
In other show news, the Outdoor Sports Group will not have a show in 2019 at Arlington Park, where the show moved in March from its original spot in Rosemont.
“The show needs a more traditional expo hall with easier access for its vendors,” OSG managing partner Rick Rosalina emailed. “We are in the process of securing a new venue for 2020 and will be announcing these dates and location soon.”
For the second season in a row, Illinois does not have a deer-focused show. I find it astonishing that nobody has started another show focused on deer hunting in a state with Illinois’ reputation for monster bucks.
The longest running show around Chicago–the Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show –starts show season, opening Jan. 9 at McCormick Place. Brandon Palaniuk headlines the big fishing show, the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo. It opens Jan. 24 at the Schaumburg Convention Center.
Below is the annual list of outdoor shows, swap meets and classes. I will update as additional listings come in. Obviously, the Early Show already happened, but I like listing it anyway. I find it best to list events by the dates.
Outdoor shows around Chicago outdoors for 2019
Nov. 11: Early Show, co-presented by DRiFT and ISA, Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oak Brook
Jan. 9-13: Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show, McCormick Place South
Jan. 10-13: All-Canada Show, Pheasant Run, St. Charles
Jan. 11-13: Lake Home & Cabin Show, Schaumburg Convention Center
Jan. 12-13: Chicago Travel & Adventure Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont
Jan. 18-20: Muskie Expo Chicago, Pheasant Run, St. Charles
Jan. 18-20: Greater Chicago RV Show, Schaumburg Convention Center
Jan. 24-27: Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo, Schaumburg Convention Center
Jan. 25-27: The Pantagraph’s Fish & Feather Expo, Interstate Center, Bloomington
Feb. 2: Capt. Ralph Steiger’s “Learn Lake Michigan Seminar,” Lake Michigan Angler, Winthrop Harbor
Feb. 7-10: Chicago RV & Camping Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont
Feb. 8-10: Rockford Boat, Vacation & Fishing Show, Indoor Sports Center, Loves Park
Feb. 9-10: Tinley Park Fishing and Outdoor Show, Tinley Park High School
Feb. 10: Henry Decoy Show, Henry-Senachwine High School
Feb. 15-17: Muskie Expo Milwaukee, Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center, West Bend, Wis.
Feb. 15-24: Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Indiana State Fairgrounds
Feb. 16-17: Capt. Ralph Steiger’s “Learn Lake Michigan Seminar,” Cabela’s, Hammond, Ind.
Feb. 16-17: Chicago Dive & Travel Expo, Chicago Marriott O’Hare
Feb. 16: Fish & Hook Sport Show, Jean Shepherd Community Center, Hammond, Ind.
Feb. 22-24: 2019 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic, Schaumburg Convention Center
Feb. 28-March 3: Northern Illinois Boat Show, New Lake County Fair Grounds, Grayslake
March 2: Indoor Fishing Flea Market, Rolling Meadows High School
March 2: Illinois Smallmouth Alliance’s Bronzeback Blowout, Elmhurst American Legion
March 2-3: Elmwood All Outdoors Show, Elmwood Community Schools
March 6-10: Journal Sentinel Sports Show, Wisconsin State Fair Park Exposition Center, West Allis, Wis., jssportsshow.com/
March 8-10: Rockford RV, Camping & Travel Show, Indoor Sports Center, Loves Park
March 8-10: Canoecopia, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.
March 9: Fish & Hook Sport Show, VFW Post 5788, Lockport
March 14-17: Ultimate Sports Show, DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, Mich.
March 30: Walleyes Unlimited swap meet, Fox Lake Legion Hall
April 13-14: Chicago Herpetological Society ReptileFest, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago
April 23-27: North American Vintage Decoy and Sporting Collectibles Show, Pheasant Run, St. Charles
April 27: Riverside Fishing Club swap meet, LaGrange American Legion
May 17-18: Driftless Outdoors Show, Onalaska Omni Center, Onalaska, Wis.