Pa. Farm Show opens barn doors Jan. 7

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The 96th Pennsylvania Farm Show will run Jan. 7-14 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.

The eight-day show is the largest indoor agricultural exhibition in the nation. It will feature 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors.

Start early

Pre-show events Jan. 5 will include the unveiling of the butter sculpture and PA Preferred Reception.

The reception will feature Pennsylvania-produced foods and beverages. Tickets for the reception are $30.

The farm show’s food court will open a day early, starting at 4 p.m. on Jan. 6. Parking is free on Jan. 6.

Many new attractions will be added to the 2012 farm show, including:

• New Family Living exhibitions: As part of the complex renovations, the Family Living area in the Main Hall has been renovated to better showcase homemade food items and handmade wares.

• Today’s Agriculture display: Today’s Agriculture, an exhibit in a full-size barn, is a collaboration between agricultural industry groups to showcase modern production practices used to efficiently and safely produce our food supply.

• Historical Marker Scavenger Hunt: Search for 22 replica historical markers throughout the complex and learn how Pennsylvania is the “Land of Penn and Plenty” as Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission markers bring history to the table.

• Food Court specialties: In addition to long-time favorites, the food court will feature three new items: a PA Preferred pizza with Pennsylvania ingredients, grilled cheese sandwiches and tender barbecue brisket sandwiches.

• Butterfly House: Visitors can see and learn about butterflies for a small fee, which supports the Friends of Farm Show Foundation.

Returning show highlights include:

• “Parade of Agriculture”: During the opening ceremonies Jan. 7, representatives from each Farm Show department along with state commodity representatives will parade through the Large Arena.

• PA Preferred Culinary Connection: In addition to cooking demonstrations, the stage will feature Bravo! TV’s “Top Chef All-Stars” contestant Mike Isabella.

• Farm Show Detectives: Young visitors can investigate Pennsylvania agriculture by visiting 22 learning stations around the complex that offer hands-on lessons and activities.

• Celebrity Draft Horse Team Driving: Celebrity teams will compete in a draft horse team driving competition Tuesday, Jan. 10.

• VIP Dairy Showmanship Contest: Farm Show dairy exhibitors will partner with state legislators to test their dairy showmanship skills Wednesday, Jan. 11.

• Celebrity Cow-Milking Contest: Always a crowd-pleaser, the contest, on Friday, Jan. 13, will feature state Ag Secretary George Greig competing with Harrisburg-area TV personalities and state legislators.

• The Sheep-to-Shawl contest, high school rodeo and tractor square dancing are featured attractions, along with the many baking contests like the Hershey’s chocolate cake contest.

If you go

The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs Jan. 7-13 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Jan. 14 from 8 a.m. to 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 a complete schedule of Farm Show events or to make a reservation for the PA Preferred Reception, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us and select the tab for “2012 Show.”

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