Work underway to ready Farm Show Complex

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The dock at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center was full of boxes as busy forklifts carried goods to various stands and exhibits.

Agriculture Department spokeswoman Sharon Altland said the nation’s largest indoor agricultural exposition is taking shape.

“It was a little slow around the holidays,” she said. “Today it’s really taking off.”

Hammers, saws, and beeping trucks echoed throughout the complex. Animals are set to arrive later in the week.

Altland said the setup is the calm before this weekend’s storm when hundreds of thousands of people are expected to come through doors.

“You’ll want to come early or late in the day,” she said. “Midday is when it gets really crowded.”

Altland was standing next to a pre-1840s carriage wagon, a special exhibit on display from a Lancaster County museum. She said poultry exhibits are returning after a one-year hiatus due to avian flu concerns.

Food is always a big draw for the Farm Show. A 70 percent beef, 30 percent mushroom burger is back on the menu with a few changes.

“This year, they’re going to spruce it up a little bit and put some cheese on it, some bacon, a little bit of tomato and lettuce, that type of thing,” Altland said.

Strawberry and cream milkshakes were a special treat for the 100th Farm Show last year. This year, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association is going back to the tried and true offerings of chocolate and vanilla.

However, the vessel in which those sweet treats are enjoyed have gone green, according to president Dave Smith.

“Our new cups are degradable cups made from renewable resources like corn starches and corn resins,” he said.

The one dairy secret not yet out of the bag is the butter sculpture. Black sheets hang in the epicenter of the venue where a half-ton of butter will be sculpted into art.

“I can’t share with you, sorry,” Altland said.

One might be able to learn a trade or two at this year’s show. Playing off the the 101st Farm Show, there will be several “101 classes” available.

“You can come learn about Beef 101, Poultry 101, or how to build a rain garden,” Altland said. “A lot of different classes are being held every day.”

The show runs January 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 $15.

The Food Court will be open Friday from 12 – 9 p.m. through the Cameron Street Lobby. Parking during the food court event is free.

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