Pennsylvania Governor joins community leaders and NRA Officials for Great American relaunch
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett joined leaders from the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau and the National Rifle Association to officially open the 2014 Great American Outdoor Show to Harrisburg. While addressing those in attendance at Sheraton, Harrisburg, Governor Corbett explained why the outdoor lifestyle is important to Pennsylvania.
"(I)f you get out around the country side and look at the woods in mountains to the north of us and all the streams we have and places to go fishing, places to get into a kayak … and following the different rivers and streams that flow all over the state of Pennsylvania.
"That's what this is all about. This is a great state to enjoy the outdoors."
In a state that sells more hunting licenses than any other state in the union, the outdoors mean more than just a lifestyle. For many it means a livelihood. A livelihood that was threatened when last year's show was cancelled.
"This was our local stock market crash," said Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste. "When you take a community such as Central Pennsylvania, Dauphin County, and take 80 to 100 million dollars out of the community in one week's time … that hurts."
17 separate entities met with local leaders in an attempt to revive the show for 2014. Ultimately, it was the National Rifle Association's plan that met with the Farm Show Complex's vision for a relaunch. A plan that addressed both the economic and cultural future of the show.
"First we wanted to bring this show back to Harrisburg where it's been for more than 60 years," explained NRA 1st Vice President Alan Cors. "Because it's so important to the city and the businesses in the region. Second, we wanted to look at every aspect of the show and see what we could do to improve it for the experience of the vendors, the exhibitors and for the attendees. Third, we wanted to reinforce the NRA's position as a national leader of all sportsmen, women and youths. We think the Great American Outdoor Show can do all of this and more."
NRA President Jim Porter promised that all efforts were being made to produce the best outdoor show Harrisburg has ever seen.
"We are proud to be a part of this great show. This will be done first class, something you can all be proud of.
"The state of Pennsylvania outdoor industry generates over 2 billion dollars. It is a huge industry. And it also shows that … the core values of Pennsylvanians are those of good American citizens. So it is with a great deal of pride that we are here to be part of this, to partner with you all. I urge each and every one of you to have a good time."
For more on the Great American Outdoor Show, visit their website at www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org