Join the commonwealth in celebrating Pennsylvania’s agriculture, livestock, crafters and more at the 104th Pennsylvania Farm Show.
We’ve rounded up the details to get you to where the action’s happening.
The show takes place from Saturday, Jan. 4, through Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, 2300 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg, which consists of three arenas and 11 buildings.
The show’s food court actually opens the day before the show, on Friday, Jan. 3, from noon to 9 p.m. The full show then will run Saturday, Jan. 4, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 5, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Monday, Jan. 6, through Friday, Jan. 10, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday, Jan. 11, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Organizers typically suggest that the best time to visit is between 9 a.m. and noon, noting the show is busiest from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The farm show is free to attend, but those parking in the official farm show lots nearby will pay $15 per vehicle daily. One lot is east of the Farm Show Complex at Elmerton Avenue and Sycamore Street, and the other is at Harrisburg Area Community College on Wildwood Park Drive, north of the complex. Handicapped parking is available at both official lots.
Free shuttles run from the lots each day and also between the Farm Show Complex and downtown Harrisburg weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Visitors also can be dropped off at the circle of the complex’s Cameron Street lobby, the Maclay Street lobby and the northwest corner of the Giant Expo Hall. Guests can check their coats in the Cameron and Maclay lobbies.
People who are allergic to straw, hay or animals are advised to plan accordingly since livestock will be on display in much of the complex. Only service dogs are allowed at the complex during the show, but no dogs are permitted in the poultry area.
What you’ll find
The farm show touts itself as “the largest indoor agricultural exposition under one roof in the nation.” Guests can see almost 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits.
In addition to watching various livestock competitions, guests can see various animal, artisan and other demonstrations; learn about eggs; watch events such as horse pulls; and visit the Artisans Alley to check out the Quilt Trail plus potters, wood carvers, spinners and more. Judges, meanwhile, will honor the best of the best in categories ranging from wine and goods to cheese, poultry and more.
Youth can participate in the AgExplorer program, which includes more than 20 stations scattered around the complex that teach kids and their families about agricultural commodities.
Separate admission is required for the First Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for Jan. 9 to 11 in the complex’s New Holland Arena; the merry-go-round; the Butterfly House and the kids’ tractor ride.
On the menu
Foodies will find many returning dishes and drinks, including milkshakes, apple cider donuts, honey ice cream, funnel cakes, cider, craft beer, apples, fruit and nut pies, and more.
New additions to the Food Court include three unique teas made with hemp seed oil; Fried Berry Oreos and Several gluten-free options now grace the menu, including the Philly Port Sandwich, a plant-based alternative to the traditional Philly cheesesteak made with Pennsylvania Portabella mushrooms that also has a vegan version.
The Farmer’s Market also returns for a second year and gives visitors a chance to buy cheese, vegetables, apples and more.
Find more information about the farm show and a full schedule at farm show.pa.gov or call 717-787-2905. Share your experience on Twitter and Instagram at @PAFarmShow using the official hashtag, #PAFS2020.
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest