Boat shows are opening today in Baltimore and the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Ill.
The Progressive Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo is at the Schaumburg Convention Center and the Progressive Baltimore Boat Show takes place at the Baltimore Convention Center. Both events run through Sunday.
The Chicago-area show is more fishing-focused. It will feature more than 100 travel-related exhibitors, including guides, lodges, resorts, many fishing tackle manufacturers and local fishing retailers.
The Fishermen’s Boatyard will have new models from well-known fishing boat manufacturers. There will be seminars with professional instructors, and there also will be a fishing simulator.
Highlights of the Chicago-area event include the Hawg Trough, a 5,000-gallon fish tank loaded with bass, where professional fishermen demonstrate lures and techniques.
Wings and Talons: Raptor Education, Stewardship and Conservation is a nonprofit organization that cares for non-releasable, injured or imprinted birds of prey. The Wings and Talons booth will have live raptors and expert bird handlers. The Cabela’s/Bass Pro Booth will have country music star Luke Bryan available for photos.
The Chicago-area show will run from noon to 8 p.m. today and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults and $3 for children ages 5 to 11. Children under the age of 5 are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online.
The Baltimore Boat Show has a wider assortment of recreational vessels. The “Queens of the Show” include the Back Cove 37 and the Formula 350 FX CBR. More than 40 dealers will represent nearly 300 boats from more than 70 brands.
Attractions include Progressive’s new Oculus Rift virtually-reality experience, which puts users into a virtual boat race. Making its debut at the show is the Kid’s Touch-A-Boat Tour, which allows children to climb aboard real vessels, including a working Maryland Resources Police boat, and meet captains.
Children will receive a boat show passport so they can collect stamps and prizes at more than 15 locations. Super Thursday features discounts and bonuses exclusive to the first day of the show, and Fred’s Shed will have experts teaching boat maintenance and repair.
Show hours are 10 a.m to 8 p.m. today through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $14 for adults and children older than 12. Children under 12 will be admitted free with a paid adult ticket. Advance tickets can be bought online.