The Grand American Trapshooting Championships is one of those things I'm ashamed to say I have yet to visit. It's one of the major outdoor events, which was brought to Illinois largely through the political skills of former IDNR director Joel Brunsvold and Downstate Rep. Dan Reitz. I visited the World Shooting and Recreational Compllex in Sparta when it opened but haven't been back since. The Grand American opens Wednesday.
Unfortunately, I don't think I will make it again this year.
Here's the announcement from the IDNR.
Grand American Trapshooting Championships Return to Illinois
World Shooting and Recreational Complex hosts over 7,000 competitors for 4th consecutive year
SPARTA, IL --The Illinois Department of Natural Resources welcomes the Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) Grand American Trapshooting Championship to the World Shooting and Recreational Complex (WSRC) in Sparta, Illinois.
The Grand American is scheduled for August 5-15 at the 1,600-acre WSRC, home to the event since 2006.
More than 7,000 shooters and 100,000 spectators and visitors are expected to attend the 11-day event in southwestern Illinois.
"The Grand American is one of the world's great shooting sports events and we are excited to again welcome tens of thousands of shooters and visitors from throughout the country and around the world to the Land of Lincoln," said IDNR Director Marc Miller. "The World Shooting and Recreational Complex is the ideal venue for the Grand American, and the hospitality of the citizens, businesses, and local officials in Sparta and throughout the region is second to none."
The WSRC features 120 trap fields spanning three-and-a-half miles; 1,000 campsites; ample parking; a full-service events center and vendor mall featuring 80 exhibitors; and, on-site food service from southern Illinois' famed 17th Street Bar and Grill. In addition to the trap shooting facilities, the WSRC skeet, sporting clays, archery, and cowboy action shooting sports facilities host events and open shooting opportunities year round.
"The WSRC has become the premier destination for shooting sports enthusiasts of all ages, and we are excited to work with the ATA on encouraging greater interest among young people - girls and boys - in the shooting sports," Miller added.
The Grand American is one of the nation's oldest sporting events, begun in 1893. The first Grand American using clay targets was held in 1900. In addition to a full schedule of trap shooting competition, the ATA has scheduled nightly entertainment at the complex.
For complete details on ATA Preliminary Week (Aug. 5-9) and Grand Week (Aug. 10-15) daily shooting events and competition, check the ATA Grand American program online at http://www.shootata.com/pdfs/programs/GRAND09.pdf
For more information on the World Shooting and Recreational Complex, check the IDNR web site at http://www.dnr.state.il.us/worldshooting/.