Rick Rosalina defined the niche for the Chicago Outdoor Sports Show.
“It is a broader outdoor show, so dad can also bring his wife and kids,” he said Monday as setup was underway in Rosemont.
There is definitely a family angle to the show, which opens today Wednesday and runs through Sunday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. If you are taking the family, I highly recommend Saturday as the day most packed with family stuff and the most varied.
“The Rosemont Show” or “The O’Hare Show” was the one of the preeminent shows in the country 20 years ago. Then it spiraled through a series of owners and near-death experiences, before Outdoor Sports Group, of which Rosalina is a managing partner, took over five years ago.
The group seems to be finding the show’s spot within the winter show season.
I am curious if the tackle area feels as big as promoters make it seem this year. That had been a serious weakness in the show in recent years.
“The Rosemont Show’’ does have quality, especially from the local side, in presenters on fishing seminars.
When I say a family angle, I mean such daily things as a reptile display, Chic’s with Axes (and I did not make that name up) and a Chicago Toy Company Interactive Display.
For Friday through Sunday, there will be a casting contest, Wild World of Animals Theater (three times daily), a trout pond and kids archery. On Saturday, the first 500 kids receive a Berkley lure, courtesy of Grandt Rods, which has been the show’s staunchest tackle component in recent years
Ducks Unlimited is making a strong presence overall and for the kids. On Saturday, there will kids’ duck-calling challenge (17 and younger), which could get interesting.
“I am happy with our progress and I am very pleased with where we are going,’’ Rosalina said. “I think people will be very happy with where we are.’’
Once again, that Cook County anomaly, the Chicagoland Gun Show, is colocated with the show Friday through Sunday. I recommend it for anybody who has never walked a gun show. This one is more civilized than most gun shows.