The Pennsylvania Farm Show opens this Saturday, January 5, 2019 and will continue through January 12, 2019. The annual event, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to Harrisburg, is the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the nation, featuring nearly 12,000 competitive exhibits, more than 5,200 of which are animal competitions, plus 300 commercial exhibits and hundreds of educational and entertaining events.
Hours for the show are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, except Sunday, January 6, when it runs 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, January 12, when it opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. The Food Court in the Expo Hall opens one day before the show itself — this Friday, January 4 from noon-9 p.m.
Among the new attractions this year will be Stories On Stage, during which special guest readers and “green stories” will take center stage during Children’s Story Time featuring agriculture-centric tales for the very young and young at heart daily on the Main Hall Stage.
New food offerings this year include The Cyclone — a cone of PA Preferred brioche bread made with organic flour and filled with your choice of organic chicken, or pasture-raised pork smoked on-site, topped with chow chow; and the Layer — a five-cheese mac and cheese layered with corn pudding, chow chow, and your choice of organic pork or chicken, drizzled with house-made gold sauce. There will also be a new Farmers Market in the Main Hall for some take-home tastes of Pennsylvania: cheese, honey, maple products, potatoes, veggies and apples.
Like craft beer? New this year, more than 150 intriguing varieties from craft brewers from across the state will compete for Best in Class, Best of Show and the PA Preferred Legacy Award. Prefer ciders? In 2018, the Farm Show introduced the Cider Competition; this year, the Pennsylvania Cider Guild will have a booth for sampling some of its hottest new PA products.
In addition to all of the attractions taking place throughout the Pennsylvania Farm Show, there are several specially themed days:
Tuesday, January 8 is Ag Careers & Education Day, with a focus on STEM careers available in agriculture. There will be lots of hands-on activities and demonstrations.
Wednesday, January 9 is Public Officials Day, which is designed to foster communication and collaboration with policy makers at the local, state and federal levels.
Thursday, January 10 is Veterans, Military & Their Families Day to recognize those who dedicate their lives for our freedom. Meet a farmer veteran in person or find a story on social media.
Friday, January 12 is Resource Conservation Day, highlighting farmland preservation and best management practices for conservation.
Admission to the Pennsylvania Farm Show is free; however, there is a $15 parking fee at all Farm Show Complex-operated lots. According to the PA Farm Show, the best time to arrive is between 9 a.m. and noon; the busiest times are weekends, and weekdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.