You might want to wait until spring, Kew. You live in a "heavy winter" area maybe even worse than I did in MA...As I recall there were a couple good Springfield shops 12+ years ago...That maybe as "local" as you get. Also the Pioneer Valley (aquatic? aquarium society? PVAS seems right) might be worth a road trip. I went to a few of their "mega auctions" when I lived closer to Boston than Springfield. They were a fun road trip every few years.
For mail order i like dustinfishtanks marcusfishtanks and aquariumplants (not aquariumfactoryplants which i dislike). There are a few users on another forum i like a lot but not sure i can post that info here. In terms of trade shows and similar - nothing near me - sadly i live in an area that is deprived of quality aquarium plants and trade shows.