Midwest Overlanding and Off-Road Expo

Midwest Overlanding and Off-Road Expo

The city of Springfield is in the scenic Ozarks region of southwest Missouri and serves as a gateway to outdoorsy recreation extending into Arkansas. Surrounded by lakes, rivers, and hilly forests, the city is where O’Reilly Automotive and Bass Pro were both started, and where the famous Springfield Cashew Chicken dish was invented by David Leong. People drive from other states to feast on this Asian delicacy.

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Head to the downtown square and you’ll find metal markers designating where Wild Bill Hickok and Davis Tutt had their notorious quick-draw duel in 1865. Both managed to get their shots off simultaneously, but Tutt missed. Hickok didn’t.

The Ozark Empire Fairgrounds are home to the annual Fair, massive hotrod nationals festival, and now the Midwest Overlanding and Off-Road Expo (MOORE). Deemed as “The Midwest's #1 Adventure Travel Consumer Show,” this show took place April 8-10 and featured numerous classes, storyteller sessions, and an overland rally. Camping was held at Southern Missouri Off-road Ranch (SMORR) approximately 43 miles away.

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The first MOORE event was held February 2020 with 53 vendors spread across 34,000 sq ft, and 3,200 attendees. Growth more than doubled in 2022 with 7,800 attendees visiting 157 vendors taking up 177,000 sq ft.

Chris Holloway began planning MOORE in the Fall of 2018. Despite residing in the Kansas City area, he chose Springfield to drive awareness to the area and support regional trail systems.

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What motivated Holloway to make this Expo a reality? “To grow the overland community in the flyover states. There seemed to be a strong consumer presence without a retailer presence in the Midwest,” said Holloway. “The popular East and West Overland Expos occur during school season and are not easily accessible to Midwesterners.”

Camping at SMORR was quite popular with all 250 camping spots completely sold out. Holloway is already working on a camping overflow solution for 2023 by expanding usage of the fairgrounds to include camping.

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The SMORR-2-MOORE Rally was sponsored by Midland Radio. The adventure involved 2 scenic routes through Mark Twain National Forest as rigs traveled from SMORR to the Expo. The participants were equipped with printouts of step-by-step instructions from Rally Navigator software, thus allowing participants to go at their own pace. Clues and trivia questions were included. Participants documented trail notes and answers to the trivia questions, then turned in their rally homework, which was graded and prizes were awarded. Every participant received a SMORR-2-MOORE shirt with a gift bag.

MIDWEST off road expo 2022

A unique aspect to this event involved Storytellers. Content creators were invited to tell stories that inspire others to pursue overland expeditions. People wanting to share their stories were allowed to apply for the role of Storyteller. The creatives who participated loved it, and the audience exhibited a positive response.

MOORE 2023 dates are April 14-16. Visit the MOORE website for details:


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