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Monday, January 6, 2014

Pennsylvania Farm Show 2014 - Great Family Fun!

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is an annual event that we look forward to every January. This year it was the 98th PA Farm Show that runs from January 4th through January 11th, 2014. Every year it is held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg PA.

The show is the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the United States and draws millions of visitors from around the country, especially around the north east states. There are nearly 6,000 animals on display, almost 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits for you to visit and see.
Steer at the PA Farm Show
Parking can be a real "bear" when visiting the Farm Show Complex and luckily for us...we used my handicap placard (yes, I am handicap) and parked right near the front door. With that said, getting a parking spot near the complex is really hard to accomplish so your best bet is to park offsite at the Elmerton Parking Lot and take the shuttle bus over to the complex.
Goat at the PA Farm Show
We went on a Sunday and wow...it was packed! We usually go during a weekday and get there pretty early. It is always crowded but in the future, we are going to avoid a weekend as yesterday was just way too crazy and busy for our liking! It was so crowded Sunday afternoon that we couldn't see & enjoy all of the things that we wanted too.
Alpaca at the PA Farm Show
We took the family with us and the Princess really enjoyed it. She got to see and pet some of the cows, pigs, rabbits, goats, sheep, alpaca (my personal favorite), llama, peacocks and she watched the chickens (which were pretty noisy). It was hard to get close to any of the "petting" exhibits because it was so crowded and people would stand in front of them and not let the children through. Sigh!
Farm Show Butter Sculpture
One of the big draws every year happens to be the butter sculpture and every year it is a new design. It is quite large and it sits in a large refrigerated capsule to keep the public out. There are glass windows all around it so you can walk around the refrigerated capsule and see it from all angles and views. This butter sculpture always draws a large crowd.
Must Have - Milkshakes!
About halfway through our experience we headed over to get a famous Pennsylvania Farm Show milkshake and baked potato. These milkshakes are made fresh at the Farm Show are are absolutely delicious! We get one every year! I enjoyed a chocolate one, hubby got a half & half and the Princess went for vanilla. After we stood in line for about 20 minutes, we finally had our milkshakes which this year cost $4.00 each and were well worth that price! Delicious!

There are plenty of food and beverage vendors in the food court. You can find hot dogs, sausage sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, baked potatoes, french fries, lamb stew, hamburgers, fried vegetables, beef jerky, beef sticks, cotton candy, homemade fudge, maple syrup, pancake mixes, muffin mixes, freshly made milkshakes, soft pretzels and homemade dog treats for your best pooch! All kinds of great things to enjoy!
Sheep at PA Farm Show
Throughout the week you will find various competitions going on like the Sheep to Shawl Contest, Draft Horse Hitch, Farm Show Fashions, Cooking Demonstrations, Vegetable Contests (the best and biggest veggies), a Rodeo complete with Clowns and so much more! There is a complete schedule of competitions, exhibitions and demonstrations on their web site.
Petting a Bunny at the Farm Show
If you ask the Princess, some of her favorite activities of the day were petting the rabbits, petting the alpaca, having a vanilla milkshake and she really loved eating her bag of maple flavored cotton candy! I would have to agree with her on the milkshake and cotton candy for sure! Both were fabulously delicious and we highly recommend them both!
White Peacock at PA Farm Show
I have two personal favorites that I saw that day. The first one being the peacocks, especially that white and blue colored one which was absolutely beautiful! I had never seen a white peacock before and wow...I am so glad that I got to see one now! You can buy peacock feathers at their booth for only $1.00 each so we picked up two of those for the Princess.
Pig at PA Farm Show
My second favorite was visiting and petting the Alpaca! I absolutely love Alpaca and always seek them out at the PA Farm Show and at various zoos across the country. My husband really enjoyed taking the Princess to see the pigs and getting up close & personal with those. I am not a huge fan of pigs but this one was absolutely adorable to see.

The family had a great time visiting the 98th Pennsylvania Farm Show and we are looking forward to the show coming back to town next year! Our only piece of advice to all of you...try to visit the show during a weekday when others are at work and at school. While it still will be crowded, it won't be as bad as if you visited during the weekend. Have fun & enjoy the PA Farm Show!

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