PA Farm Show kicks off Jan. 5

By on January 2, 2019

 

3-year-old MacKenzie Most pets a rabbit during the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

 

Those who have attended the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg know that it’s more than just cows, tractors and milkshakes. The show affords families unfamiliar with agriculture a chance to see the processes by which food items make the transition from farm to table –; and gives many opportunities to get hands-on with farm animals of all sizes (from rabbits to Clydesdales), and taste exotic items like potato donuts and goat tacos.

Many avoid the animals altogether and instead explore the gigantic vendor display area, or attend a demonstration. This year’s presenters range from a weighted blanket business owner who will speak about neurodiversity in children, an agri-magic show, storytime with the PA Dairy Princess, and multiple cooking exhibitions.

Some of the most popular events are the high school rodeo, rabbit hop, horse-pulling competitions, the Culinary Connection, the butter sculpture, Know Your Farmer, Farm Show’s Got Talent, and the sheep-to-shawl competition.

Some features new to this year’s show are: a junior vegetable show; STEM exhibits; a new Artisans Alley; tasty treats with an organic twist; cider and craft beer sampling; interactive farm and food safety exhibits; and cheese, honey, maple products, potatoes, veggies and apples packaged to-go.

You won’t want to miss the gallery where artists will try their hand at creating 2- and 3-D masterpieces entirely from dry seeds and beans. There will also be a meet-and-greet with Barry Williams, who portrayed Greg on TV’s “The Brady Bunch,” from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11.

The duckling slide, a popular exhibit of many years, will not be open at the PA Farm Show this year, due to concerns of avian flu.

The PA Farm Show is free to enter. Food and vendors are pay-as-you-go. Shuttle buses operate continuously from paid parking lots. Parking costs $15 per vehicle at all Farm Show Complex-operated lots.

The official Farm Show guide suggests that the least crowded time to arrive is weekdays between 9 a.m. at noon, and that the busiest times are each day between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.

A full list of demonstration schedules, animal judging, parking locations, and Farm Show hours can be found at farmshow.pa.gov. The PA Farm Show complex is located at 2300 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg.

Melissa Hunnefield is the features editor for the Lititz Record Express and Ephrata Review. She welcomes your comments at mhunnefield.eph@lnpnews.com.

Many exhibitors sleep overnight with their charges during Farm Show week. Here, 10-year-old Colton Boss, of Emlenton, rests with his Herefords during the last year’s event.

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