US Stamps

Great American Stamp Show confirmed as in-person event

May 17, 2021, 5 PM
The 2021 Great American Stamp Show will take place Aug. 12-15 in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill. Three philatelic collector groups will host the large summer show: the American Philatelic Society, the American Topical Association and the American First Day Cover Society.

By Michael Baadke

The Great American Stamp Show for 2021 will take place this summer with public attendance, according to American Philatelic Society executive director Scott D. English.

The largest annual stamp show in the United States is scheduled for Aug. 12-15 at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., a Chicago suburb.

All health and safety guidelines will be observed.

The show is presented jointly by the APS, the American Topical Association and the American First Day Cover Society. The United States Postal Service is a show sponsor.

“In March, we announced that we were moving into the next planning phase for the Great American Stamp Show,” English announced May 14. “To make the show financially viable for both dealers and the American Philatelic Society, we needed to meet specific benchmarks.”

For the show to take place it sought commitments from 75 dealers and 25 societies, with at least 500 exhibit frames reserved. Achieving those goals would provide a strong show for dealers and attendees without substantial financial risk to the APS, English had stated in March.

“I am pleased to announce we’ve completed those benchmarks,” English said in the recent update, “and the Great American Stamp Show will happen.”

The initial response was so strong from collectors hoping to attend the national show in person that the reserved hotel blocks were fully booked at the nearby Embassy Suites and DoubleTree hotels.

“If you haven’t booked your room yet, we will get additional rooms for those planning to attend,” English said.

He also gave credit to “the collectors, exhibitors, societies, and dealers who made commitments to attend the show,” with additional thanks to the APS board, the ATA and the AFDCS.

Along with at least 75 stamp and postal history dealers, the show expects to host a cachetmaker’s bourse. The USPS will have a large retail presence offering a selection of current U.S. stamps for sale.

“To the dealers who have not committed to the show, look at the overwhelming response so far,” English suggested. “We’re all planning to come to Chicago to support our dealer community after the challenging year. You will not want to miss this show!”

The three societies hosting the Great American Stamp Show sponsored their own annual shows and conventions in the past, but decided to join forces to create the new Great American Stamp Show for 2020.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic turned the tables on plans for the show’s debut in Hartford, Conn., and the 2020 summer show was replaced by a successful online-only show that year.

The 2021 show was also in jeopardy until the national rollout of COVID-19 vaccines was followed by declining infection numbers and the expected easing of public gathering restrictions in Illinois and elsewhere.

Admission to the show is free and will include access to meetings and seminars, philatelic exhibits and the large dealer bourse.

Additional information about the show, including advance registration, can be found at www.stamps.org/GASS.

Visit www.stamps.org for more information about the APS; www.americantopical.org for information about the ATA; and www.afdcs.org to learn more about the AFDCS.

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