2012-01-12 / Local & State

Farm Show Facts And Figures

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in America. The Farm Show Complex houses 24 acres under roof, spread throughout 11 buildings including three arenas.

In 2009 the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center began offering free wireless Internet service which covers the entire complex, making it the largest Wi-Fi network in the East.

The 2012 PA Farm Show is now in progress and ends January 14.

Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with the exception of the last day ending at 5 p.m.

The PA Farm Show charges no admission fee, and includes approximately 300 commercial exhibitors and includes over 13,000 competitive exhibits. Everything from draft horses, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, swine, goats, rabbits and poultry, to eggs, fruit, Christmas trees, apiary products, maple products, nuts, horticultural products, mushrooms, wine, vegetables and many other Pennsylvania products can be seen here.

Several of the arena events each year at the PA Farm Show are: the opening ceremonies, Champion Horse and Pony Pulling Contests, Draft Horse Competition, the Annual Sheepto Shawl Contest (The shawls are then auctioned off.), Square Dance Contest & Exhibition, Arena Carriage Racing, Tractor Square Dance, PA Equine Showcase, Equine Demo, Cow Milking Contest, Irish Dance Demo, PA Preferred Best Chef of Pennsylvania Competition, livestock judging – horses, cattle, swine, sheep and goat judging. All free admission!

The PA Farm Show includes a Family Living Center, which is located on the East Side of the Main Hall. It consists of two acres of family living, horticultural, environmental and 4-H exhibits. Some of the main features are chair caning, wheat weaving, lace making, blacksmithing, spinning & weaving, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, cooking demonstrations, FFA demonstrations and Family living demonstrations. Also included in the area is a children’s activity center called “Farm Show Farmer” that creates a fun atmosphere for education. There are also several contests in the Family Living Center, including the Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Contest, the Greatest Cocoa Cake and Cookie Contest, the Shoofly Cake Contest, Pineapple Upside Down Cake Contest and the Angel Food Cake Contest, all of which are televised.

Farm Show Learning Stations – Approximately 20 learning stations are located throughout the PA Farm Show for visitors to explore different aspects of Pennsylvania’s number one industry – agriculture! Sponsored by Turkey Hill, visit all the stations and earn a chance to win prizes.

Two of the most popular attractions at the PA Farm Show are the PA Preferred Culinary Connection and the PA Marketplace. 2007 was the first year for the PA Preferred Best Chef of Pennsylvania finals held annually in the sale arena. The PA Preferred Culinary Connection features the Kitchen Stage where celebrity chefs from the Food Network, Pennsylvania restaurants, cookbook authors and culinary schools perform cooking demonstrations and competitions.

Another popular section of the PA Preferred Culinary Connection is the Food Pantry where display cases are filled with Pennsylvania produced products. These displays showcase the diversity of Pennsylvania’s food and agriculture businesses and highlight many PA Preferred member companies.

The PA Marketplace is a “must see” for sampling and purchasing a wide variety of PA products with over 50 businesses and commodity groups represented. Snack foods, candy, spices, processed meats, condiments, beverages, cottage industry products and more are offered at special Farm Show prices.

The Pennsylvania Food Court can be found in the Expo Hall and the Food Court Annex on the main floor. In the Food Court visitors find some of the best food served in Pennsylvania.

The PA Farm Show’s farm equipment display features farm machinery that is used for soil preparation, planting and seeding, grain harvesting, silage harvesting, tractors, and materials handling. Most major farm equipment manufacturers are represented in the Expo Hall. Sales representatives are on hand to answer questions and give presentations about the equipment.

The Pennsylvania Auctioneer’s Association bid calling contest, held in the banquet hall at the PA Farm Show raises funds through contest donations to the Pennsylvania Scholarship Foundation.

60-Year-Old Merry-Go- Round – Each ride benefits the PA Farm Show Scholarship Fund and the Pennsylvania State Showmen’s Association. The merry- go- round is located in the Main Hall, and rides are $2 each. The art deco merry-go- round is comprised of 30 horses and two chariot seats, and has been ridden by millions of patrons since it was first opened to the public in 1946. The Allan Herschell Co. manufactured the merry-go-round in 1946 following World War II. S & S Amusements acquired it in 1964 and completed extensive renovations and modernizations, preserving its art deco appearance. The merry-go-round is located in North Tonawanda, N.Y., and continues to be used today at fairs and carnivals in Pennsylvania and neighboring states. In 2010, the Farm Show Scholarship Fund received $17,720 of revenue generated from this ride.

A unique feature attraction at the PA Farm Show every year is a life- size butter sculpture on display in the Main Hall, near the Maclay Street lobby, which is done by Jim Victor of Conshohocken. It has a different theme every year. The subject of the 1,000-pound 19th annual butter sculpture displayed at the 2010 Farm Show was a dairy farm family and cow gathered around the breakfast table.

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