The thought of giant cranes putting boats into Navy Pier appealed to me.
But I had kid duty yesterday morning and couldn't accept the invite of show staff to see giant cranes helping set up for Strictly Sail Chicago, which opens Thursday. And settled for the stock photo of Strictly Sail Chicago.
It just sounded really cool way to kick off the biggest show week in Chicago outdoors.
Beside Strictly Sail and Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo, this is the week for the revised and revitalized big general-interest show, America's Outdoor Show. It opens Wednesday at Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
The great experiment of the show season this year is America's Outdoor Show, which runs through Sunday..
This is like the old days with major outdoor stars: Babe Winkelman, Spence Petros, Mike Iaconelli, Jim Saric and Ted Takasaki. And plenty of local talent.
There's lots of other hype-inspiring stuff like the Bikini Ice Fishing Team's fashion show Friday night and Dan Hampton (5-7 Thursday) and Ramblin' Ray (6-8 Thursday).
The thing I may most watch to see if it works is Mike Ventresca (Chef Green Acres) prepping and cooking any and all things wild throughout the show
And this will be kids friendly with a special area, an archery range, Dan Armitage seminars and Chauncey Niziol.
Tickets are $10, 6-16 are free weekdays ($5 weekend days) and 5 and younger free. There's discounts for seniors, high school bass teams, ladies, etc Parking is $12 (or use the CTA lot for $5 and ride a shuttle or walk)
For info, go to americasoutdoorshow.com
Strictly Sail Chicago is at Navy Pier, Thursday-Sunday.
Tickets are $12 week days, $15 weekend days, 2-day pass $24; 15 and younger free
Parking: Discounted to $10 for attendees
There's a Kid's Club, a hands-on activity area.
For info, go to strictlysailchicago.com
Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo is at Pheasant Run in St. Charles, Friday-Sunday.
Here's some seminars of note: Muskie on the fly: Robert Tomes, 10:30 a.m. Saturday Smallmouth on the fly: Tim Holsclag 4:30 p.m. Friday, 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Carp on the fly: Larry Gavin, 9:15 a.m. Saturday
I have to admit that I am most interested in the seminar by Joseph Meyer, he of One More Cast Fly Shop in Countryside, on the Driftless Region, sustainable foods, organic cooking, cheese tasting at 10 a.m. Saturday
Tickets are $15, 65 and older $10, students $5, 11 and younger free. Parking is free.
There's lots of kids stuff, including beginning fly tying taught and the Oak Brook chapter of Trout Unlimited hosting an education booth,
For info, go to greatwatersflyfishingexpo.com
UPCOMING OUTDOOR SHOWS
Show, dates: site, contacts
Chicago RV & Camping Show, Feb. 10-14, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, thervshow.com
Tinley Park Fishing & Outdoor Show, Feb. 13-14, Tinley Park High School, tinleyparkfishingshow.com
Henry Decoy Show, Feb. 14, Henry-Senachwine High School, Henry. Contact Susan or Bruce Bauter at (309) 364-4104 or email@example.com
Our World-Underwater, Feb. 19-21, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, www.ourworldunderwater.com
Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic, Feb. 26-28, Interstate Center, Bloomington, deerinfo.com/illinoishome.asp
Chicago Maritime Festival, Feb. 27, Chicago History Museum, chicagomaritimefestival.org
Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Spring Fever Outdoor Show, Feb. 27-28, Expo Center, Valparaiso, Ind., nwisteelheaders.org
Lake Home & Cabin Show, March 5-7, Schaumburg Convention Center, www.lakehomeandcabinshow.com
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, March 10-14, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis, Wis., www2.jsonline.com/sportsshow
Canoecopia, March 12-14, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, www.rutabaga.com/canoecopia
Indoor Fishing Flea Market, March 13, Rolling Meadows High School, by the Chicagoland Muskie Hunters and the RMHS Choral Boosters, www.muskiesinc.org/chapters/03/indoorFishingFleaMarket.asp
Travel and Adventures Show, March 20-21, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, adventureexpo.com
Great Outdoors Expo, March 27-28, Woodstock North High School, Woodstock, greatoutdoorsexpo.net
National Antique Decoy and Sporting Collectibles Show, April 23-24, Pheasant Run, St. Charles, midwestdecoy.org