Great American Stamp Show will take place live in Chicago
By Michael Baadke
The American Philatelic Society has confirmed that the 2021 Great American Stamp Show will take place in an open public venue this summer.
The stamp show, which brings together the annual conventions of the APS, the American Topical Association and the American First Day Cover Society, will take place Aug. 12-15 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill.
“We’ve waited patiently for some good news out of Illinois and Governor J.B. Pritzker delivered it last week,” said Scott English, the APS executive director, “Illinois is moving very quickly toward easing restrictions and likely safely removing them by August.”
The APS explained that under the Illinois Recovery Plan, the state relaxed the Phase 4 restrictions for indoor dining and other events. When 70 percent of all Illinoisians aged 65 and older are vaccinated, Illinois enters the “Bridge Phase,” further lifting restrictions and allowing the Stephens Convention Center to open.
“Based on current projections, Illinois will enter the Bridge Phase within weeks,” according to the society’s March 25 news release. “Once 50 percent of all residents aged 16 and older receive at least the first dose of the vaccine, the state will enter Phase 5.”
English added: “Every week, more Americans are receiving vaccinations and taking the proper precautions to stay safe. If we continue moving in this direction, the Great American Stamp Show will be the perfect way to bring the hobby together.”
The status of the show has been in limbo since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down public gatherings across the United States and around the world.
During the March 18 online meeting of the American Philatelic Research Library board of trustees, English described several factors that needed to be resolved before a commitment to the show could be made, including safety for visitors and dealers, and the prospect of enough show visitors attending to make it financially viable for dealers to participate.
It appears that projections for improving COVID-19 conditions have allowed the society to move forward with plans for a show attended by the public.
The APS has said that as a benchmark to moving ahead with the show, the society needs commitments from 75 dealers and 25 societies, and at least 500 exhibit frames reserved.
“These benchmarks will provide a strong show for dealers and attendees without substantial financial risk to the APS,” according to the society’s press release.
“This will be the biggest show held in the past two years,” English said. “We need everyone in the hobby to come together. We need our dealers, societies, and exhibitors to rally and show the world the pandemic has made the hobby stronger. We can’t wait to see you in Chicago!”
Reservation forms, hotel information and other show details will be regularly updated on the APS website.
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