After a two-year hiatus induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show is on schedule to be held in 2022.
The 82nd edition of Maine’s oldest sportsmen’s show, which is put on by the Penobscot County Conservation Association, is set for March 11-13 at the University of Maine’s New Balance Field House, Memorial Gym and the Stanley Wallace Pool on the Orono campus.
The 2020 show was among the first large events in Maine to be shut down as the result of the pandemic, while last year’s show was canceled in November 2020.
There also will be some special health protocols in place mandated by the University of Maine to help ensure the well-beling of all involved.
UMaine’s COVID-19 policy places specific requirements on those attending an indoor event with more than 250 people. That includes all functions, such as athletic events.
That means anyone who wishes to be present must provide full proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test, which must have been administered within the previous 72 hours of any gathering held on campus.
The University of Maine System also requires that anyone inside the show venues must have a mask or face covering in place that covers their nose and mouth, both prior to entry and for the duration of their time spent indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
The one exception provides for masks to be removed while eating or drinking.
“We sincerely hope that you will be able to comply with the University’s policy. Your participation is critical to the show’s success,” the association said.
“The safety and health of all in attendance are our top priority and we will work with the University to ensure that,” it said.
There should be plenty of excitement among visitors, vendors and volunteers alike to gather for the opportunity to talk about many outdoor-related subjects.
The Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show brings together more than 150 vendors, ranging from sporting goods dealers to hunting and fishing guides. Patrons will have the opportunity to learn about the latest outdoor activities and products and talk with the folks whose lives center around those pursuits.
“As a nonprofit organization, the funds generated by the show have been sorely missed over the past two years,” the association said. “Interest in outdoor sporting activities has soared during the pandemic and we expect strong attendance at the show.”
The conservation association hopes the advance notice about UMaine’s COVID-19 protocols for large gatherings will help build anticipation and also give people the chance to adequately prepare to join the fun safely.
The event is critical to the group meeting its financial goals. Its other revenue-producing functions include rental of its Brewer clubhouse to other groups and a gun show.
For more information, visit the PCCA’s Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show web page at conservationassociation.org.