Schedule announced for 2016 Ford Boat, Sport and Travel Show
Ten Adventurous Days of Everything Outdoors
61st installment of nation’s premier boat, sport and travel show returns to Indianapolis February 20 – March 1
Even in today’s world of infinite media for outdoor sports enthusiasts, outdoor sports shows are more relevant than ever, holding a special place in America’s outdoor heritage and traditions. They are the only places where enthusiasts can talk one-on-one with industry experts and celebrities, then place the latest outdoor gear in their hands to see how it works and feels firsthand.
In addition to being one of the largest outdoor sports shows in the country, the Ford 61st Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show is also one of the oldest – something show organizers Renfro Productions are focusing on this year. "Our show was here in the 50’s, when post-war America began its infatuation with boats, RV’s and outdoor recreation travel," says show organizer Kevin Renfro. "We were here in the late 60’s and early 70’s during the genesis of modern bass fishing," he continues. "We have entertained, informed and outfitted hundreds of thousands of people in their pursuit of outdoor recreation, travel and family memories… so we are celebrating that this year with a variety of special show speakers and features to remind all generations of where our outdoor passions have come from."
Scheduled for February 20 – March 1 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the Ford 61st Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show draws outdoor enthusiasts and curious fun-seekers from across the Midwest with over 700,000 square-feet of one-of-a-kind outdoor attractions and exhibits and two distinct consumer expositions. The 24th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo will anchor the opening weekend of the show, February 20-22, while the 18th Annual Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo will take place during the closing weekend, February 26 – March 1. If ever there existed an outdoor show for everyone, this is it.
Encompassing over 13-acres under roof, the Ford 61st Annual Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show provides a unique brand of outdoor excitement in six distinct pavilions.
With 180,000 square-feet, the Boat Pavilion will throttle visitors with incredible deals on all manner of the latest watercraft, while the 150,000 square-foot RV Pavilion showcases a massive display of the newest motor homes and travel trailers. Angling aficionados will be stunned by the incredible array of cutting edge fishing tackle and hard-to-find gear in side the 70,000 square-foot Tackle Town. It’s a crowd favorite, and back bigger than ever this year. The 50,000 square-foot Travel and Tourism Pavilion boasts over 150 exhibitors representing some of the finest outdoor and family-oriented lodges, resorts, camps and destinations from throughout the United States and Canada. Finally, the 70,000 square-foot Expo Hall houses the adrenaline-pounding Motorcycle Expo and the ever-popular Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo during the opening and closing weekends, respectively.
The ever-popular Tackle Town will once again greet visitors with nearly two-acres of all things angling, serving up over 100 unique exhibitors offering cutting edge, hard-to-find fishing tackle, gear and accessories at special show prices. Tackle Town has everything for the fisherman or fishing family, including charter fishing captains and guides who can take you to the big ones, the Kids’ Zone casting area and trout fishing pond, and an incredible array of other interesting events and attractions. If Tackle Town doesn’t have the gear and information you are looking for, it doesn’t exist!
Kids Day is back again this year as well. Jason Roberts owns Honey Creek Tackle in Bargersville, IN and has been exhibiting at Tackle Town for eight years. "We’ve been one of the larger exhibitors in Tackle Town the past few years", says Roberts, who is donating 500 rods and reels to give away to the first 500 kids through the door of Tackle Town during Kids Day on Saturday, February 28. "People come to the show to see the very latest fishing tackle and electronics, so they expect to see us there and it is a great opportunity for our staff to share their knowledge and expertise with existing and new customers," he concludes.
No matter what you like to fish for, you’ll find the brightest stars of the angling world talking about how you can become a better angler for your favorite species at the Fishing Camp: Ask the Pros Seminar Series, and during the crowd-favorite seminars on the Hawg Trough – a massive, 5,000-gallon aquarium loaded with all manner of lunker gamefish. BASS and FLW superstar, Mike Iaconelli — 2003 Bassmaster Classic Champion and 2006 Bass Angler of the Year — will headline this year’s fishing seminars, while angling superstars Todd Hollowell and Billy McDonald will also give seminars on largemouth bass. Outdoor communicator, Dan Armitage will also return this year with his popular and entertaining kids fishing seminars, while a who’s who of Indiana and the Midwest’s best pro anglers will shed welcomed light on species-specific tips and tactics for bass, crappie, muskie, walleye, catfish and carp. Well-known muskie guides Chae Dolsen, Mike Hulbert and Matt Firestein share their experiences and techniques for chasing giant muskies on Northern Indiana’s blue ribbon muskie waters, Lake St. Clair and beyond. Additional can’t-miss seminars will be given by Kyle Schoenherr, Ronnie Capps and Russ Bailey on crappies; Jay Couch on walleyes; Derrick Filkins on smallmouth bass; Gilbert Huxley on carp; and the Indiana Catfish Association on catfishing. The list doesn’t end here. Fishing pioneers Forrest Wood, Jerry McKinnis, Billy and Bobby Murray are coming to share stories of fishing history! Don’t miss this panel of legendary fishermen when they convene on Saturday, Feb. 28th at 2:00 and 5:00 pm. Bassmaster Elite angler Tim Horton will also appear for one day only, Saturday, Feb. 28th at the Alabama Tourism booth.
Boat and RV Pavilions
Boats and RVs have always been a mainstay of the Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, and over seven acres of the latest boats and RVs will be on display at this year’s show.
From giant cruisers to all manner of fishing boats, ski boats and personal watercraft, the Boat Pavilion will showcase hundreds of the latest watercraft along with boating lifestyle products and accessories from many of the best dealers across Indiana.
Likewise, visitors will find the RV Pavilion jam-packed with great deals on all kinds of cutting-edge RVs. From lightweight towables to motor homes to fifth wheels, the RV Pavilion is the one place to see them all.
Of course, boat and RV dealers attending the show don’t want to take their inventory home with them, so make an offer! On the spot financing, factory incentives and special show prices promise to make purchasing a boat or RV at the show easier and more affordable than ever.
Travel and Tourism Pavilion
Planning a vacation using the online travel sites is always a gamble. How do you know that what you see on your computer screen is what you’ll find when you arrive? And how do you really know you are getting the best value? Deal directly with the folks who can answer your questions!
The 50,000 square-foot Travel and Tourism Pavilion is the definitive place to plan your next family vacation, fishing trip, wilderness hunt or other unique outdoor excursion. With over 150 private, local, state and even national travel professionals representing exciting destinations in 25 states and three countries, no matter what kind of travel experience you’re looking for – from wilderness lodges, houseboats and hunting and fishing resorts to beaches to fairways — you’ll be sure to find it at the Travel and Tourism Pavilion.
Many of these exhibitors are owners and operators of the lodges, resorts and camps they represent. Talk with them all and deal with those you like. Since you’ll be dealing direct, you’re not paying a middleman so more of your money stays in your pocket. Bring the family and start getting excited. You’re almost on vacation!
An all-new Travel Café rolls into the Champions Travel and Tourism Pavilion this year with exciting travel destination presentations and videos. Along with the fresh new travel ideas presented by the exhibitors within the Travel& Tourism section of the show, the Travel Café will also offer new and unique in-show dining options and live and entertaining programs and demonstrations, as well as an array of multi-media displays showcasing destinations represented at the Show. Grab a bite, rest a spell and pick out a new vacation destination at the all-new Travel Café!
Award-winning filmmaker John Holod is an internationally recognized cinematographer who has filmed all over the world and presented his documentaries to audiences across North America. John stands out in the travel-film industry because he travels in a state-of-the-art Roadtrek or Winnebago RV, immersing himself in the culture and surroundings he’s depicting. The RV serves as home, office and editing studio while he is on the road. John will give a variety of fascinating seminars at this year’s show including "Alaska: RV Adventure of a Lifetime", "The Great Rocky Mountain RV Adventure", "East Coast RV Adventure", and "Route 66 RV Adventure". He has lectured at such prestigious venues as the National Geographic Society, the Carnegie Institute, Cal Tech and RV Shows in Hershey, Tampa, Chicago, Denver, and many others. In recognition of his outstanding film achievement, he received the "Rising Star" award from the travelogue industry in 1995. In 2007 he was awarded the "Distinguished Achievement in RV Journalism Award" by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.
Human-powered adventure activities like, hiking, paddling, mountain biking, rock-climbing and fly fishing may leave a small ecological footprint, but are as hard-core as the ever-growing number of enthusiasts who practice them. Sometimes referred to as the quiet sports, these activities are some of the fastest-growing outdoor recreational pursuits. And in this case, quiet certainly doesn't mean dull or mundane.
Quiet Sports area provides an unequaled opportunity to see the best quiet sports gear and learn from some of the best and most experienced adventure paddlers, backpackers, mountaineers and other quiet sports moguls in the world. Additionally, attractions like the Peak Adventure Rock Wall, the Fly Fishing Demonstration Pond and the Canoe and Kayak Challenge Pond provide hands-on opportunities.
Interested in learning to scuba dive? The Discover Scuba display in The Travel & Tourism Pavilion lets visitors experience the thrill of scuba diving through an interactive simulator under the supervision of a Diver’s Supply Professional. Participants will be taught the basic concepts and scuba skills to prepare for their own open water adventures.
Other Exciting Features
The spectacular Rail Jam splashes down in the newly renovated Coliseum, February 20-22 only, showcasing both jaw-dropping wakeboarding demonstrations, as well as top-level sanctioned competition. The Rail Jam is an incredible entertainment spectacle that will delight both young and old alike. The Rail Jam uses an elaborate set-up consisting of two pools holding over 50,000 gallons of water. Nationally-known wakeboard competitors looking to stomp bionic air and sick tricks are dragged through a course of rails, sliders, jumps and other features by a high-speed, gas powered winch while feeding from the energy of audience members just a few feet away. Light on wakeboarding knowledge? No worries. Renowned wakeboarding emcee, Dano the Mano will keep audience members entertained and "in the loop" as performers and competitors steez out, go full butterball, or burn the toast in their quest for wakeboarding supremacy. It’s a totally unique and robust brand of fun you won’t find anywhere else!
All-new this year, Timber Tina’s World Champion Lumberjills will provide thrilling and fun entertainment for all ages. Timber Tina’s World Champion Lumberjills is a group of female, logging sports athletes that compete in the Olympics of the Forest, including Underhand Chopping, Cross-Cut Sawing, Axe Throwing, Stihl Power ‘Hot’
Sawing and Log Rolling! Timber Tina the Emcee will delight crowds of all ages with a blend of history, comedy and education all while illustrating the fast paced events and the thrills and spills one comes to expect with the legendary Logging Sports!
A crowd favorite, the Dock Diving Dogs return to the show this year with never before seen tricks! Alpha K9 U will be conducting workshops, demonstrations and friendly big air-wave competitions. As always, representatives will be there to answer any questions you may have about the fastest growing dog sport!
18th Annual Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo
Featuring hundreds of unique exhibitors, epic hunting seminars from respected and knowledgeable industry pros, and exciting features for the entire family, the 18th Annual Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo will once again anchor the closing weekend of the Ford 61st Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, February 26 – March 1, 2015. For avid hunters or anyone looking to get started in hunting, this is truly a "can’t miss!" event.
The Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo is more than a marketplace for hunters. While hundreds of unique exhibitors representing the latest hunting products and services may be the Expo’s main attraction, an unequaled lineup of expert seminars and other creative show features will draw sportsmen and women from as far as Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois and Ohio.
This year’s Big Tine Hunting Seminar Series serves up hunting and habitat management expertise from some of the biggest and most well-respected experts in the industry, including Hunt Masters TV Host Gregg Ritz; The Turkey Man Eddie Salter; Ducks Unlimited TV Host Field Hudnall; and Knight & Hale’s Ultimate Hunting Host Joe Thomas, to name just a few. Other scheduled seminars include Archery Deer Hunting sessions with renowned bow hunter and tournament archer Bill Epeards and Jason Amato of Takedown Outdoors; Manipulating Deer Habitat with well-known Habitat and Hunting Specialist Jim Ward; Fall Mushroom Hunting with Tom Nauman; and Predator Hunting with National Predator Hunters Association (NPHA) President Jason R. Bruce. Keep checking www.indianadeerandturkeyexpo.com for the latest additions to the growing seminar schedule.
Of course, whitetails are at the center of Indiana’s hunting culture. Looking for some deer hunting inspiration? The Hoosier Record Book Trophy Deer Display will return to this year’s Expo, showcasing some of the largest whitetail bucks harvested in Indiana in recent years. It’s an awe-inspiring array of antlers!
Wonder what that buck hanging on your wall would score? Bring in your rack to be officially scored by the I.D.H.A., official score keepers for the Hoosier Record Buck program. Official scorers from Boone & Crocket and Pope & Young will also be on hand to score your trophy buck for just $15!
If you hunt waterfowl, The Waterfowl Flyway at this year’s Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo includes anything and everything you need for a successful hunt! From duck boats, to duck calls, decoys and other waterfowl gear, retriever training and more, visitors will find it all at The Waterfowl Flyway. There’s even an Ask the Pros Waterfowl Series and you the show visitors control the questions!
How’s your old bow holding up? Is it time for an upgrade?
Archery hunters attending this year’s Expo can try out all the latest bows and crossbows at the Archery Manufacturer’s Demo Lanes. Industry experts will be on hand to show visitors the very latest bow technology from major manufacturers. The Archery Manufacturer’s Demo Lanes is the place to take advantage of one-on-one expertise, find the gear that fits your objectives, style and budget, and get all of your archery questions answered.
Have a four legged hunting buddy, or are you thinking about getting a new pup? If so, you probably have questions about the latest training methodologies and tools available. The Gun Dog Demonstration Area is a great place to learn all about hunting dogs and breeds. The Green Acres Sportsman’s Club, Hoosier Hunting Retriever Club and other organizations and experts will provide key information, training tips and full-blown seminars on upland bird dogs, waterfowl retrievers, coon dogs and other hounds, only at The Gun Dog Demonstration Area.
We certainly have great hunting right here in Indiana, but at this year’s Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo, you can meet face to face with hunting outfitters and guides from around the globe, and explore exciting new worlds of hunting adventure. Whether you are interested in learning more about bear hunting in Canada, bird hunting in South America, an African safari, a hunt of world class hunts right here at home, these are your guys! Don’t risk booking a hunting trip online. Come on out and talk one-on-one with the folks who can make your hunting dreams come true. You’ll be able to meet with outfitters from 19 states, 9 Canadian provinces and 9 countries while visiting the show.
Education is critical to hunting’s future – for youth and other people looking to start hunting for the first time, as well as on a continuing basis for even the most experienced hunters. And hunter education will play a prominent role in this year’s Expo.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), who administers hunter education throughout the state, will be on hand to speak with prospective new hunters and provide information on how to sign up for a free hunter education class in their area. They’ll also have a full range of other educational displays and materials regarding not only hunting, but trapping, wildlife management, habitat, and other program such as Indiana’s Archery in the Schools Program and state tournament, 4H Shooting Sports, Becoming an Outdoors Woman, the Karl E Kelley Memorial Conservation Officers Youth Camp, and the C O Mollenhour Conservation Camp. Visitors will also have the opportunity to hunt "virtual deer" in realistic situations with guidance from DNR personnel on the state-of-the-art Laser Shot hunting simulator, and participate in DNR tree stand safety seminars.
Kids love bows and arrows, and the Youth Archery Range sponsored by the Indiana Bow Hunters Association is the perfect place to introduce them to the principles of bow safety and proper shooting techniques.
24th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo
At over 70,000 square-feet, the 24th installment of the Indiana Motorcycle Expo is a Mecca for all manner of bikes and motorcycle accessories, and will take place over the opening weekend of the Ford, Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Feb. 20-22. The Expo brings together enthusiasts, manufacturers, major dealers and bike-related exhibitors from across the country showcasing the very latest motorcycles and a full compliment of related motorcycle lifestyle products and services.
The Indiana Motorcycle Expo’s exhibitors are it’s lifeblood, serving as a main attraction for it’s thousands of visitors searching for the latest in motorcycle accessories, biker apparel, custom paint and fabrication, lifestyle services, new and used motorcycles and more. Once inside, however, visitors will be captivated by the Expo’s unique and entertaining show features, exhibits and special speakers.
Art and engineering converge at the Biker’s Showcase – one of the Expo’s most popular features that this year features vintage motorcycles on display for judging in the Survivor, Restoration, Restomod, Cafe’ Racer, Modifed, Barn Find and People’s Choice categories. .
Over 12 of Indiana’s historic motorcycle and racing "pioneers" will be on hand at this year’s Expo to exchange seldom-heard stories share Hoosier motorcycling history with visitors during six Pioneers of Hoosier Motorcycling panel discussion sessions taking place at 4:00 pm on Friday February 20 (Motocross & Off-Road Racing), Saturday, February 21 at noon (In the Early Days of Racing), 2:00 pm (Motorcycle Clubs & Organizations) and 4:00 pm (Flat Track Racing) and on Sunday, February 22 at 11:30 am (Motorcycle Dealers in the Early Years) and 2:30 pm (The Future of Motorcycling). These pioneers are devoted to connecting modern day motorcycle enthusiasts and professionals with the unique events, machines and personalities of the past that have shaped the modern motorcycle industry and biker lifestyle. Questions from the audience will be encouraged during these moderated sessions. Following each session, audience members will be invited to talk one-on-one with these pioneers and view an unbelievable display of their private collections of historic motorcycle memorabilia including apparel, keepsakes, personal photographs and, of course, several highly significant motorcycles. Many of these items have never been seen by the public.
Other unique and exciting features of this year’s Indiana Motorcycle Expo include ABATE of Indiana’s Tiny Tots Riding Experience, where future bikers can safely try out their two-wheeled skills; early sign up for ABATE motorcycle classes, where those new to motorcycling can gain the confidence necessary to take to the roads safely; and the International Bikini Team biker wear and swimsuit competitions, where Expo attendees can check out the latest in motorcycle lifestyle fashions.
For the very latest information on exhibitors, features, events and seminars at the Ford 61st Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, visit www.indysportshow.com.
Discount Ticket Specials!
Save money and don’t wait in line! Special discounts are available this year on E-tickets purchased online at www.indysportshow.com. Advance ticket sales are also offered at all Marsh stores.
Friday, Feb. 20: 1:00 – 8:00 pm
Saturdays, Feb. 21 & 28: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sundays, Feb. 22 & Mar. 1: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday – Thursday Feb. 23 – 26: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Friday, Feb. 27: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm