Showing posts with label outdoor shows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label outdoor shows. Show all posts

Monday, August 26, 2019

Deer and Beer Fest Rivals Fish and Feather Expo

This past weekend organizers opened the doors to the first annual Deer and Beer Fest held at the Interstate Center/ McLean County Fairgrounds.  "We planned this show in Bloomington for the same reason the Deer and Turkey Classic existed here successfully for so long. It’s roughly within an hour drive or less to Peoria, Springfield and Champaign." said Cole Thompson, event organizer.  While I know many people from these cities attended this fest, I also got word from our Chicago area readers that they took the trip down to enjoy a beautiful weekend talking hunting, fishing and the great outdoors as well.

Pumped and ready to start the show!
I've been to several great hunting and fishing shows across the country and in my opinion the Deer and Beer Fest competed with some of the best outdoor shows in Illinois.  Granted it's no SHOT SHOW or ICAST but, the atmosphere and energy was the same.  Not only from attendees but from the vendors themselves looked pumped and ready to go. There is already talk about expanding next year's show to include vendors outside throughout the other parts of the fairground.  "The McLean County Fairgrounds has over 100 acres of outdoor space with 50,000 sq ft indoors, and a 20,000sq ft pavilion area. There’s all kinds of opportunity for growth at this facility" said Thompson.

While many of us are used to our hunting and fishing shows in the winter, August is the month of cabin fever for hunters and that's why it was a great month for the show.   "Hunting season is right around the corner. Hunters are gearing up and ready to spend some cash on what they need or don’t need" said Thompson.  Although shows during the summer may not grow in the hunting community, maybe fishing shows will try this and see how it works on their end.

Attendees had the opportunity to win lots of goodies

As I walked in, it looked like any other show, however like the Energizer Bunny, rows kept going and going.  These rows were filled with quality products along with non-profits and businesses promoting their ideas and chasing the American dream.  Although many attendees came for the great deals on their hunting products, others came for the Big Buck Contest and Trophies of Grace did not disappoint. Luke Brewster's World Record Buck, harvested in Illinois, was also in attendance. Let me just say..WOW.   Nope- not putting a picture up of that monster, because like a sunset or sunrise, it's better in person, trust me!

Just some of the amazing deer on show from Trophies of Grace
If you missed this year don't worry! They'll be back and I'm excited as can be to see how this show grows.  However, I'm a little disappointed in one thing, no gutter guard companies at the show.  I mean, what's an outdoor show without them there?  Just in case some of you can't tell, that's sarcasm.  In all seriousness, this show met and exceeded my expectations and you should plan to take the whole family next year.

I applaud all the workers and vendors for making this an amazing show.   Makes sure to check them out the Deer and Beer Fest on Facebook.  SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

2019 Illinois Fishing & Hunting Expos

Expo season is right around the corner and we will once again be attending many of the expos around the State of Illinois.  Here at Capitol Outdoors this is a time where we see old friends, and meet some new ones as well.  It's also a time for local businesses that have come to light in the last year to promote their business.

Here is a list of some of the expos we know that are coming up. Send us information for your expo or other outdoor shows at

Each show has a clickable link which will take you to their website for more information.

Jan. 4 - 6th 2019
Gateway Center
Collinsville, IL

Jan. 9 - 13th 2019
McCormick Place -South
Chicago, IL

Jan. 10 - 13th 2019
Pheasant Run Mega Center
St. Charles, Illinois

Jan. 18 - 20th 2019

Pheasant Run Resort

St Charles, IL

January 25 -27th 2019
Interstate Center
Bloomington, Illinois

January 24 -27th 2019
Schaumburg Convention Center
Schaumburg, Illinois

February 1 -3rd 2019
Marion, Illinois

February 9-10th 2019
Tinley Park High School
Tinley Park,Illinois

Feb. 8 -10th 2019
Indoor Sports Center
Loves Park, Illinois

February 9-10th 2019
Otto Center
Arthur, Illinois

Feb. 14 - 17th 2019
QCCA Expo Center
Rock Island, Illinois 

Feb 22-24th 2019
Schaumburg Convention Center
Schaumburg, Illinois

Feb. 22 - 24th 2019
Illinois State Fairgrounds
Springfield, Illinois

Feb. 28th - March 3rd 2018
New Lake County Fairgrounds
Grayslake, Illinois

March 2 - 3rd 2018
Elmwood Community Schools
Elmwood, Illinois

March 9th 2018
VFW 5788
Lockport, Illinois

More shows and dates will be added as they become available.