personality and AZfoothills.com columnist Nadine Toren is scouring the area, finding savvy Valley features, bringing readers “on the scene.” Every day she’ll introduce you to celebrities, athletes, and give you an inside look into local events and hot spots. She'll touch on topical issues, and keep AZ fans posted on all the big talkers .
If you're into the great outdoors, check out the sportsman's greatest show on Earth. Here's your inside scoop previewing the entertaining expo.Are you in the market for a new rifle? What about a boat, or the ultimate RV? Well, if you’re into the great outdoors, mark your calendar for February 23rd through 26th. That’s because the Phoenix International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) is making its way to Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium, and this year’s convention is bound to be the best the Valley’s ever seen.
I caught up with John Kirk, the Director of Communications for the big event, seeking an inside scoop on what’s to come. He said in addition to the 300+ sporty companies showcasing their latest swag, a number of outdoorsy celebs will be on-hand. First, if you’re a NatGeo TV fan, you’ve definitely heard of Lt. John Nores Jr.—he’s often on the “Wild Justice” show. John is also an author, eager to visit Arizona’s ISE. In addition, Hank Shaw will be roaming the stadium talking about his book, “Hunt, Gather, Cook,” recently published with rave reviews.
But if you’re not the type who swoons over celebs, and instead, prefers A-list ATVs, motorboats, or fishing fixings, then ISE Phoenix is your one-stop-shop for everything fabulous. According to Kirk, the expo features the widest-possible selection of sporty products ranging from affordable to totally elite. Yep, you’ll get to tour campers exceeding hundreds of thousands of dollars; however, once you’re in, all the seminar and show features are free.
This year, you can expect everything hunting, fishing, travel, aquatic, and off-road galore. Take it from Kirk—he’s been on the ISE team for 14 years. Kirk says event staffers work all year-round to make ISE such a hit, especially considering all that TLC goes to five annual shows. In addition to Phoenix, ISE pit-stops in Denver, Sacramento, Vegas, and Salt Lake City, so of course, Kirk’s days are full of shopping the most esteemed vendors. The show floor features a number of hands-on experiences like archery, game calling, fly casting, bass fishing, shooting, and rock climbing. (Definitely stop by the giant casting pond, the 3D archery range, and Adventure Theater.)
Granted, anybody can buy just about anything, anytime, but ISE offers the rare opportunity for like-minded enthusiasts to learn about a new outdoor activity, research and buy an adventure, and meet resort owners, outfitters and outdoor celebrities. The fun-filled four-day event is sure to spark that inner sportsman flame. Tickets cost $15.