When you start planning trips to various outdoor shows in the coming weeks, you might be surprised to find a new offering among the tried-and-true events that serve as tried-and-true harbingers of spring.

Yes, the Bangor Daily News is proud to announce that it will join the fray and hold its first outdoors expo May 4-5 at the Portland Expo.

“It’s a full-on event where we’ll be displaying the newest outdoors gear, vacations, fashions, equipment, all that sort of stuff,” said Pat Lemieux, BDN events producer. “We’ll cover everything from your traditional sportsman’s show stuff like hunting and fishing [while] we really expand into outdoor rec: Hiking, biking, canoeing, surfing, which is really big in southern Maine.”

Lemieux and the BDN have several branding events on tap throughout the year, and staging a major outdoor show seemed a natural fit, given the company’s focus on outdoor coverage throughout the year.

Lemieux said he plans to make the show a “one-stop shop” for those looking to recreate in Maine, whether they’re interested in rock climbing, rafting, climbing a mountain or visiting Acadia National Park.

“It’s a good time of year to do it,” Lemieux said. “It’s spring. Everyone’s thinking, ‘What am I going to do with that week of vacation? Where can I take my kids?’”

Vendor booths won’t be the only attraction, Lemieux said.

“In addition to [vendors], we want to have a really great lineup of speakers and lecturers who will educate the public on all those different topics,” he said.

Of course, the BDN outdoor expo will join a busy slate of shows that are held earlier in the year. Here’s where you can go to get your outdoor fix:

– March 8-10, the 75th annual Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show, University of Maine, Orono.

– March 29-31, the State of Maine Sportsman’s Show, Augusta Civic Center.

– April 6-7, the Presque Isle Fish and Game Club’s Sportsman’s Show, University of Maine at Presque Isle.

John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...