INDIANAPOLIS – Whether a gathering of old friends during opening weekend of deer season, an adventure on the Ohio River fishing for giant catfish, or an annual family vacation to one of Indiana’s exceptional state parks, outdoor traditions run deep for many individuals and families throughout the Hoosier State. One of these very special traditions comes along each year, just in time to help lift outdoorsy folks up during the waning days of late winter’s cold, gray grasp; it’s the Ford 63rd Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show. An outdoor tradition in its own right, the largest outdoor show in the country has been helping outdoor-lifestyle enthusiasts and adventurous families make the most of their outdoor recreational experiences for the past 63 years.
The Ford 63rd Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show is returning to its home at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for ten excitement- and action-packed days, February 17-26, 2017. Here, all manner of cabin fever-inflicted outdoor enthusiasts will flock to make new discoveries in every corner of over 700,000 square feet of exhibits and special features in six giant buildings. From shopping the latest RVs, boats and ATVs, to planning and booking a hunting or fishing dream trip; from meeting and learning from some of the biggest names in the outdoors, to diving into the very latest, hard-to-find fishing tackle; whatever outdoor enthusiasts are looking for, they’re sure to find it at the nation’s largest sport show.
Indeed, there’s something for everyone at the Ford 63rd Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, which is once again bookended by two popular exhibitions. Opening weekend, February 17-19, features the return of the 26th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo including the visually inspiring Biker’s Showcase and the historical Pioneers of Hoosier Motorcycling. Closing weekend, February 23-26, hosts the always-popular 20th Annual Indiana Deer, Turkey & Waterfowl Expo – a show within the show delivering the most comprehensive list of exhibitors and features any experienced or aspiring hunter could ever ask for. Throughout the entire ten days, show visitors can enjoy the Yamaha Boat Pavilion, RV Pavilion, Travel and Tourism Pavilion and the perennial favorite… Tackle Town.
Fishing is America’s most popular recreational activity, and Tackle Town feeds that passion with 70,000 square feet of all things angling. Tackle Town appeals to any angler – no matter where or how they fish – with aisle after aisle of cutting edge, hard-to-find fishing tackle, gear and accessories offered up at special show prices. Find and book a charter or a guided fishing trip on the most productive waters, or watch your kids have a blast in the action-packed Kid’s Zone or at one of Dan Armitage’s fun-filled kids’ fishing seminars. Need where-to or how-to fishing tips? Learn from some of the nation’s top fishing pros as they demonstrate baits and cutting-edge angling techniques during daily seminars at the huge 4,000-gallon Hawg Trough. Key speakers include Hank Parker (Monday, February 20 & Tuesday, Feb 21 only), Ted Takasaki, Jacob Wheeler, Joe Thomas and dozens more. Additionally, special, interactive Ask the Pros fishing seminars will cover the ins and outs of crappie fishing with B’n’M Poles’ Russ Bailey, Matt Morgan and Steve Coleman, as well as the fascinating world of carp fishing with Bottom Feeders’ Ron Streeter, James Sanders and Bill DeHaven. Prefer the long rod? Fly fishing enthusiasts can improve their knowledge and skills with seminars delivered by renowned fly angler, Jeff Courier. It’s all waiting, along with so much more, inside sport fishing’s honorary, once-a-year capitol city, Tackle Town.
Boats and RVs
Boats and RVs are the outdoor enthusiasts’ magic carpets, whisking them and their friends or family members away from the demands of daily life and placing them into the places of their dreams. Of course, boats and RVs have always been a mainstay of the Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, and over seven acres of them will be on display at this year’s show. From giant cruisers to all manner of fishing boats, ski boats and personal watercraft, the Yamaha Boat Pavilion and Coliseum will showcase hundreds of the very latest watercraft, along with boating lifestyle products and accessories from many of the best dealers across Indiana. Likewise, visitors will find the RV Pavilion and Coliseum jam-packed with great deals on all kinds of cutting-edge RVs. From lightweight towables, pop-ups and micros, to luxury coaches, travel trailers and fifth wheels, the 63rd Annual Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show is the one place to see them all. None of these dealers want to take their boat or RV inventories home with them, so great deals are a sure bet. Go ahead and make an offer. On-the-spot financing, factory incentives and special show prices promise to make purchasing a new boat or RV at the show easier and more affordable than ever.
The Travel and Tourism Pavilion is the definitive place to plan your next family vacation, fishing trip, wilderness hunt or other unique outdoor excursion. With private, local, state, national and even international 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 exceptional adventures at great prices at the Travel and Tourism Pavilion. Many of these exhibitors are the actual owners and operators of the lodges, resorts and camps they represent. Talk with them all and deal with whom you like. Since you’ll be dealing direct, you’re not paying an agency or Internet middleman, which means more of your money stays in your pocket. Bring the family and start getting excited. You’re almost on vacation.
The Travel and Tourism Pavilion is also the spot to take in one of the Ford 63rd Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show’s exciting spectator events – like the Alaska Timbermen Lumberjack Show or the extremely entertaining K9 X-Games – at the Sportsmen’s Arena. A significant collection of antique outboard boats and motors will also be on display, providing a unique and captivating historical perspective on marine recreation. It’s all inside the action-packed Travel and Tourism Pavilion. New this year is an Axe Throwing Competition where show visitors can compete. Put your axe throwing skills to the test and show us what you’ve got!
With so much to see, hunger is sure to creep in, so stick around the Travel and Tourism Pavilion for lunch or a snack. Along with fresh new travel ideas presented in multi-media displays, the one-of-a-kind Travel Café presented by Visit Indiana offers travel-themed in-show dining options and live and entertaining programs and demonstrations. Grab a bite, rest a spell, and pick out a new vacation destination all in one entertaining and informative spot.
26th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo
The 26th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo is a Mecca for all manner of bikes and motorcycle accessories, and takes place during the Ford 63rd Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show’s Opening Weekend, February 17-19. 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. This amazing array of unique exhibitors featuring the latest in motorcycle accessories, biker apparel, custom paint and fabrication, lifestyle services, new and used motorcycles and more, this year’s expo will feature a variety of touring bike categories in the Biker’s Showcase, sponsored by Ride Safe Indiana; a biker Fashion Show by the International Bikini Team; Abate of Indiana’s Tiny Tots Riding Experience; and a return of the Pioneers of Hoosier Motorcycling, an historical exhibit and interactive panel discussion featuring the bikes and personalities from Indiana’s significant motorcycling past. The 26th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo is the annual, late-winter event that is sure to heat up the passions of any biker and get them fully prepared for the coming season on the open roads.
20th Annual Indiana Deer, Turkey & Waterfowl Expo
Anchoring the final four days of the Ford 63rd Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, February 23-26, the 20th Annual Indiana Deer, Turkey & Waterfowl Expo will fuel the passions of any hunter with the latest hunting gear and gadgets, information and inspiration to last an entire season – no matter what species they pursue. Located in the Expo Hall, the Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo serves the passionate, diehard hunter, as well as the individual or family who may simply be looking for information, basic gear or other resources to help them get started.
Exhibitors from all facets of hunting will be on hand, displaying and selling products from camo and game calls to tree stands and trail cameras. Looking to book a local hunt or the hunt of a lifetime in Africa, Canada or Alaska? Look no further. The 20th Annual Indiana Deer, Turkey & Waterfowl Expo has attending guides and outfitters from 19 U.S. states, nine Canadian provinces and eight other countries, ready to share detailed information about hunting opportunities at their exciting destinations.
Hunters crave information, and the Big Tine Hunting Seminar Series always bring some of the biggest names in the hunting industry to Indianapolis to share tips and insight to help hunters make the most of their valuable time afield. This year’s speakers include Winchester Deadly Passion’s Melissa Bachman, Turkey Man TV’s Eddie Salter, Fear No Evil’s Chris Brackett, Karin and David Holder of Raised Hunting , Field Hudnall of Field Proven Calls, master hunter, Fred Abbas, legendary archer, Byron Ferguson and many more. New this year to the Ask The Pros is the theme “Family Hunting Traditions,” featuring panelists who either grew up learning from their parents or are now actively teaching the next generation the value of the hunting tradition. Join Chris Brackett, Karin and David Holder, Melissa Bachman, and Field Hudnall. Moderated by Bill Epeards, this session is sure to be as inspiring as it is educational.
Whitetail hunters will once again have the opportunity to bring in their deer to be officially scored by measurers from Boone & Crockett, Pope & Young and the I.D.H.A., the official scorekeepers for the Hoosier Record Buck program. Hunters of all stripes will gain inspiration by viewing dozens of massive Indiana bucks up close and personal at the Hoosier Record Book Trophy Deer Display. Archers can try before they buy, shooting all the new top bow models at the Manufacturer’s Archery Demo Lanes, and youngsters can also enjoy shooting at the Youth Archery Range. Waterfowl enthusiasts, too, will find everything from duck boats to dog training gear and supplies, calls, clothing and other vital equipment at the Waterfowler Flyway.
Outdoor passions and traditions may be varied and diverse, but one special annual event caters to them all. The Ford 63rd Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show is the undisputed king of sport shows – a special place where those who make the outdoors their lifestyle and those with a more casual interest in the outdoors gather to meet with others who make the outdoors their business. It’s ten days of the best of the outdoors, and it’s happening at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, February 17-26.
New this year, buy a two-day ticket online and save $6.00 off the box office price of two daily tickets. To learn more about exhibitors and features of the 63rd Annual Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show, the 20th Annual Indiana Deer, Turkey & Waterfowl Expo, and the 26th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo, visit indysportshow.com. New features are added to the website frequently, so check back often.