The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, a hunting and fishing consumer tradeshow managed by Reed Exhibitions that had already been postponed, has been officially canceled amid controversy over the presence and sale of assault weapons.
Reed postponed the show in late January, but did not announce further plans at the time. The postponement followed a decision to limit the sale or display of assault-grade firearms in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.
Officials at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa., were informed Thursday by Reed, according to Samantha Krepps, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which owns the venue.
“There will not be a show of similar scope and size in 2013,” she adds in an e-mail to Expo Magazine. “Complex officials are reviewing requests and working to secure [an] outdoor sporting show of similar make-up, size and scope for February 2014.”
Reed did not respond to a request for comment.
In the original January announcement about the postponment, Reed Exhibitions President for the Americas Chet Burchett said: “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. 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.”
This year’s Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, originally scheduled Feb. 2-10, would have attracted more than 1,000 exhibitors, according to Reed, along with an estimated 200,000 attendees.