Organizers of canceled outdoor show offer refunds
BY P.J. REILLY, Staff Writer
Local hunters and anglers who bought advance tickets for the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show can get their money back.
Reed Exhibitions, the company that owns and organizes the show, has established a system for issuing refunds to advance ticket holders.
The show would have opened Saturday at the State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg and continued until Feb. 10.
Reed, however, canceled the show after hundreds of exhibitors and celebrities scheduled to appear said they would not.
Those who planned to boycott the show did so in reaction to Reed's announcement in mid-January that it would not allow the sale or display of AR-style, semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines at the show.
"Our original decision not to include certain products in the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show this year was made in order to preserve the event's historical focus on the hunting and fishing traditions enjoyed by American families," said Chet Burchett, Reed Exhibitions President for the Americas.
"In the current climate, we felt that the presence of (modern sporting rifles) would distract from the theme of hunting and fishing, disrupting the broader experience of our guests."
Advance tickets for the show were sold by Reed on the show's website; at four Sportsman's Liquidation Outlet Stores in Pennsylvania and one in Virginia; and at Cabela's in Hamburg.
According to Reed, those who bought tickets online were notified by email that they'd be getting a refund. No action by those ticket buyers is necessary.
Those who bought tickets at a Sportsman's Liquidation store can take their tickets back where they bought them and the stores will issue refunds.
Exhibitors already have been notified that they will be getting refunds for the monies they paid in advance to appear at the show, according to Reed.
In a related development, several businesses that would have been exhibiting at the show have banded together to put on a virtual show.
Hosted by Mynortheastoutdoors.com, the show features equipment and outfitted adventures that would have been for sale at the Farm Show Complex.
The virtual show can be found at myneodclassifieds.com.
Also, Kinsey's Outdoors in Mount Joy, Trop Gun Shop in Elizabethtown and Lancaster Archery Supply, all of which would have had booths at the show, are holding "solidarity sales," scheduled to run for the same dates as the show -- Feb. 2-10.
Likewise, several hunting and fishing outfitters who were supposed to appear at the show have joined forces to hold an outfitters' show from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday at Hotel Carlisle & Embers Convention Center, 1700 Harrisburg Pike, Carlisle.