HARRISBURG – Agriculture Secretary George Greig invites Pennsylvanians to celebrate agriculture during the 98th Pennsylvania Farm Show, Jan. 4-11, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.
The eight-day show, themed “Pennsylvania Farms: Growing for You,” features 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors.
“Pennsylvania’s more than 62,000 farm families and thousands of agribusinesses provide an affordable food supply, keep money in local communities and create jobs,” said Greig. “The Farm Show is a celebration of their contributions, from the competitive exhibits and demonstrations to the famous Food Court.”
The unveiling of the 1,000-pound butter sculpture is at 11 a.m. Jan. 2.
The PA Preferred™ Farm Show Reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 3. It features Pennsylvania-produced foods and beverages. Tickets for the reception are $35, and reservations close Dec. 16. Register online at www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
The 2014 Farm Show will feature many new attractions, including:
- Free Concert – Country artist and Pennsylvania native Ben Gallaher will play a free concert Jan. 3, at 7:30 p.m. The young singer/songwriter recently finished his first album, which he describes as straight up country with an edge.
- Rabbit Hopping Competition – Celebrity guides will lead trained rabbits in a competition of speed and agility as the animals hop obstacles, similar to equine jumping, at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 5, in the Small Arena. Vote for the winning rabbit and you will be entered to win a prize.
- Celebrity Chef – Nadia G. is the “Julia Child of the Net Generation,” and the creator/host of two Cooking Channel series featuring accessible haute cuisine using fresh, local ingredients. See her on the PA Preferred™ Culinary Connection stage Jan. 4, at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
- New Food Court Items – New menu items include maple mustard, lemonade, salad dressing, barbecue sauce and hard candy, berry funnel cake, hot beef sausage, beef and cheddar sandwich and a steak and egg breakfast burrito. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Farm Show milkshake.
- Christmas in January – Pennsylvania is home to nearly 1,600 Christmas tree farms, and this year a new display of the state’s best live trees will have visitors pining for a real tree next holiday season. See it in the Main Hall.
- Dairy Oxen Demonstration – Learn how settlers used dairy steers to build the nation during a dairy oxen demonstration on Jan. 7, from 8 a.m. -10 a.m. and from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Returning show highlights include:
- Cow Patty Bingo – Beautiful bovines place their bets on a giant bingo card at 5:15 p.m. Jan. 7, in the Large Arena. Purchase $25 squares for the chance to win $100 or PA Preferred prize packages. Proceeds support the Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation. Call 717-787-5373 for tickets.
- Celebrity Cow Milking Contest – Always a crowd-pleaser, the contest on Jan. 10, at 2:30 p.m. features Greig competing with local media personalities and state legislators.
- Great Grape Stomp – Two barefoot celebrity teams compete for top vintner honors in relay style to stomp the largest amount of juice from 30 pounds of grapes. Audience members can vote for their favorite team and enter to win prizes.
- Celebrity Draft Horse Team Driving – Celebrity teams compete in a draft horse team driving competition Jan. 7, at 6 p.m.
- “Today’s Agriculture” – An exhibit in a full-size barn that displays modern production practices used to efficiently and safely produce our food supply. New this year are forage crops, discussion on genetically modified food and a first-hand look at the relationship between Marcellus shale and agriculture.
- “Parade of Agriculture” – During Opening Ceremonies Jan. 4, at 10:30 a.m., representatives from each Farm Show department, along with state commodity representatives, parade through the Large Arena.
- Farm Show Detectives – Young visitors can investigate Pennsylvania agriculture by visiting learning stations around the complex that offer hands-on lessons and activities.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs Jan. 4-10 from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Jan. 11 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $10. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessed from nearby Interstate 81.
For more information, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
Editor’s Note: The Farm Show has not been held annually, and it is incorrect to describe the 2014 event as the 98th annual show; it is simply the 98th show.