US Stamps

Hopeful view of the future at Great American Stamp Show

Aug 18, 2021, 3 PM

By Michael Baadke

After an involuntary extended hiatus from stamp shows, many collectors from across the nation and around the world embraced the opportunity in mid-August to travel to the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill., for the delayed debut of the Great American Stamp Show.

Originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, the first Great American Stamp Show, like so many other social activities, was put on hold as the COVID-19 pandemic spread.

The sponsors of the show — the American Philatelic Society, American Topical Association and American First Day Cover Society — watched cautiously and waited for a sign that it was safe again to gather in a celebration of the stamp hobby.

In late March, it was announced that the show would take place at the Rosemont center, following a plan conceived by leaders of the three organizations long before the world ever heard of COVID-19.

The show opened to excited collectors on Thursday morning, Aug. 12, and continued through Aug. 15.

Attendance was strong all four days, with many collectors choosing to wear masks and respecting social distancing as the coronavirus and its spreading Delta variant remain a concern.

The masks gave the show a different look, but the atmosphere throughout was still jubilant, as collectors greeted old friends, made new ones, and sought the stamps and covers they needed to enhance their collections.

With first-day ceremonies, club meetings, exhibits and much more, the 2021 Great American Stamp Show gave an injection of hope to collectors anxious to return to the public experience of sharing their love of philately at the nation’s largest stamp show and exhibition.

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