2017 outdoor shows in and around Illinois
This time of year, the Chicagoland area turns into Paradise Island for true outdoorsmen.
All across the region, countless shows, auctions, swap meets and seminars will take place over the next few weeks -- none more anxiously awaited than the Great Lakes Angler Super Salmon Clinic with Captain Dan Keating, scheduled later this month at Winthrop Harbor.
Known by many as the man who “wrote the book on Great Lakes salmon and trout fishing,” Keating plans to share his expertise with participants during one of this year’s most anticipated seminars.
“It’s a salmon school where we do six hours of instructional teaching on salmon and trout catching along Lake Michigan,” Keating said recently. “We’ve offered these schools near all the Great Lakes for years now, and Chicago is one of our regular stops because the crowd and reception has been so strong.”
In mid-February, the 49th Annual Chicago RV & Camping Show comes to town at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
This year, the Midwest’s largest RV show will feature 400 new models -- with thousands more on display -- from among at least 20 dealerships that will be on hand offering special show prices.
In March, the Ultimate Sports Show comes to nearby Grand Rapids, Michigan, holding nearly 100 fishing and hunting seminars on five different stages over a period of 100 hours.
“It’s a labor of love,” Ben Nielsen, show producer and president, said of the 72-year-old event and how organizers always seem to make the absolute most of it. “I’ve been coming to this event since I was a boy and now, to have a chance to work on its production, is amazing. We all love being a part of what we do, and our audience loves it too.”
Nielsen described the event as a chance for outdoorsmen to engage in anything and everything that pertains to the wild.
“At that time of year, we all have a bit of cabin fever, so it really has a lot for the fishermen type -- but we certainly cover all the bases,” he said.
In early April, Chicago’s “premier gun and outdoor show” comes to town at the Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park, courtesy of Outdoor Sports Group.
Here is a list of upcoming shows throughout the area and websites to visit for additional information:
Jan. 11-15: Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail Show, McCormick Place South, www.chicagoboatshow.com
Jan. 12-15: All-Canada Show, Pheasant Run, St. Charles, www.allcanada.com/all-canada-show/chicago
Jan. 13-15: Greater Chicago RV Show, Schaumburg Convention Center, www.greaterchicagorvshow.com
Jan. 14: Musky Road Rules, Cabela’s, Hoffman Estates, www.muskyroadrules.com
Jan. 19-22: Chicago Outdoor Sports Show, Stephens Convention Center, chicagosportshow.com
Jan. 21-22: Chicago Travel & Adventure Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, travelshows.com/shows/chicago
Jan. 26-29: Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo, Schaumburg Convention Center, www.sportshows.com/chicago
Jan. 27-29: Pantagraph Fish & Feather Expo, Interstate Center, Bloomington, www.facebook.com/The-Pantagraphs-Fish-Feather-Expo-296359480383634
Jan. 28-29: Great Lakes Angler Super Salmon Clinic with Capt. Dan Keating, Lake Michigan Angler, Winthrop Harbor, www.facebook.com/GreatLakesAnglerSuperSalmonSchool
Feb. 4: Ultimate Outdoor Show, KVPD RecCenter, Kankakee, kvpd.com/pages/outdoor_show.html
Feb. 10-12: Muskie Expo Milwaukee, Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center, West Bend, Wisconsin, muskieexpo.com/milwaukee
Feb. 11-12: Tinley Park Fishing and Outdoor Show, Tinley Park High School, www.tinleyparkfishingshow.com
Feb. 12: Henry Decoy Show, Henry-Senachwine High School, henrydecoyshow.com/Home.html
Feb. 16-19: Chicago RV & Camping Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, www.chicagorvshow.com
Feb. 17-26: Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Indiana State Fairgrounds, indianapolisboatsportandtravelshow.com
Feb. 17-19: Great American Fly Fishing Expo, Indiana State Fairgrounds, www.greatflyfishingexpo.com
Feb. 17-19: Rockford Boat, Vacation & Fishing Show, Indoor Sports Center, Indiana State Fairgrounds, www.landroproductions.com/boat-vacation-fishing
Feb. 18: DRiFT’s 24th annual auction, Villa Park VFW, www.driftorg.com/calendar.php
Feb. 18: Midwest Musky Club’s annual swap meet, Village Sportsmen’s Club, Alsip, www.facebook.com/events/1183706381682866
Feb. 23-26: Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo, Indiana State Fairgrounds, indianadeerandturkeyexpo.com
Feb. 24-26: Our World-Underwater, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, ourworldunderwater.com/Chicago
Feb. 25: Salmon Unlimited Swap Meet, River Park Moose Lodge, River Grove, www.salmonunlimitedinc.com/su-swap-meet
March 2-5: Northern Illinois Boat Show, Lake County Fair Grounds, Grayslake, illinoisboatshow.com
March 4: Indoor Fishing Flea Market, Rolling Meadows High School, chicagolandmuskiehunters.org/indoorFishingFleaMarket.asp
March 4: Lake Michigan School with Capt. Ralph Steiger and guest speakers, Knights of Columbus, Hammond, Indiana, captsteiger.com
March 4: Illinois Smallmouth Alliance’s Bronzeback Blowout, Elmhurst American Legion, illinoissmallmouthalliance.net/html/blowout.php
March 4-5: Elmwood All Outdoors Show, Elmwood Community Schools, www.elmwoodalloutdoors.com
March 8-12: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, Wisconsin Exposition Center, jssportsshow.com
March 10-12: Lake Home & Cabin Show, Schaumburg Convention Center, lakehomeandcabinshow.com/chicago/general-show-information
March 16-19: Ultimate Sports Show, DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, Michigan, www.showspan.com/USG
March 18: Fish and Hook Show, American Legion Marne Post. 13, Downers Grove, www.fishandhook.net
March 25: Walleyes Unlimited swap meet, Fox Lake Legion Hall, www.walleyesunlimitedusa.org/documents/2017_swap_meet_flyer.pdf
April 1-2: Chicagoland Gun Show, Odeum Expo Center, Villa Park, www.osgshows.com/exhibitor-cgs.php
April 25-29: North American Vintage Decoy and Sporting Collectibles Show, Pheasant Run, St. Charles, http://nadecoycollectors.org
July 28-30: Illinois Deer & Turkey Expo, Peoria Civic Center, www.deerinfo.com/illinois