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The final three shows in New England for 2020 have been cancelled due to public concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus.
By Toby Lapinski  |  March 16, 2020
Enter the code 'northeast' when purchasing a 1-year subscription prior to March 2 and we'll take $3 off the price AND mail you a Save Gear sand eel lure!

I am not generally one who falls into the mass hysteria that is plaguing the interwebs of late, but I am smart enough to know there is no need to put myself and my family unnecessarily at risk. Leading into last weekend we at The Fisherman were evaluating how we'd be handling the remaining shows here in New England - the MSBA Sport Fishing Expo, Northeast Fishing & Hunting Show and the New England Saltwater Fishing Show - with a similar precautionary mentality in regard to ongoing concerns over Coronavirus COVID-19. Around the same time that we decided to begin voluntarily withdrawing from the shows, the hammers started falling as the promoters themselves decided to cancel.

First up locally was the Northeast Fishing & Hunting Show. In an email which came out on March 11, Kristie Gonsalves of North East Expos announced that, "It is with deep regret that I have decided to cancel our 23rd Annual Northeast Fishing & Hunting Show, scheduled for next week March 20-22 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, due to the Coronavirus COVID-19. The federal and state governments have increased their concerns about the disease and encourage people not to gather in public spaces. Connecticut’s Governor has declared a health state of emergency and all towns are cancelling public events. This decision was not an easy one to make as all of our livelihoods depend on successful events. It is my duty as a responsible and professional show producer to keep my exhibitors’ health and financial status in mind and I always want the best for my exhibitors so they can make sales and have a positive experience. "

Then, a short time later, Steve Medeiros, president of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, announced that they, too, would not be proceeding with their show later this month. The press released stated, "OFFICIAL NOTICE: The 2020 New England Saltwater Fishing Show is cancelled. The Rhode Island Convention Center has just informed us that they are shutting down for the remainder of March per Governor."

Lastly, on Thursday, the MSBA made the call not to proceed with its show as well, stating "MSBA has officially cancelled our Expo for this coming weekend [March 14 - 15, 2020] due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus. This was not an easy decision on our part as not only does MSBA rely on this expo to fund our many meetings and activities throughout the year, but we also understand that our vendors rely on these shows to introduce and sell products to the public. These were weighed very heavily, but at the end of the day we also have a commitment to ensure the safety of all involved is of the utmost importance. We thank you for your understanding, and hope to see you at an event in the future! -MSBA Executive Leadership"

So with that, show season in 2020 came to an abrupt halt here in New England.

As noted earlier, we had been discussing this situation prior to the official announcements, and we had a bit of a plan in the works already to address concerns subscribers would have over renewing subscriptions at the shows. On Friday we announced a special online-only promo on Facebook, Instagram and via email blast in which we would be running an offer for a limited time where we both offered $3 off a 1-year subscription, and we would also mail you a Savage Gear Sand Eel lure which we had intended to give out at the shows with your subscription.

In order to take advantage of the special limited-time offer, which expires on March 22 and is only valid while supplies last, you simply need to purchase an online subscription and enter the promo code: northeast.