Every January, our state holds its annual state fair--the PA Farm Show. I know, I know--middle of winter, what's with that? Well, since 1917, Pennsylvania has held its annual state fair in the middle of winter. And indoors, at that. It is billed as the largest indoor agricultural event in the United States. (The Farm Show complex has some 615,637 square feet of display, exposition hall, and arena space--so, it's big...really big!)
We went to the Farm Show quite frequently when our children were little. What kid can resist all the farm animals--cows, pigs, goats, chickens, rabbits? And with no admission fee (although there is a parking fee) it is cheap entertainment.
As our children grew, we did not attend the show as much. So, this year, we decided to go again. Some things have changed, and some things have not.
People still like the machines--this year, there were a series of antique farm machines. Here is an old threshing machine.
This is a shingle splitter. I love the brilliant colors of the machine.
And, of course, there are the NEW machines--although there were far fewer of these than my husband and I recalled seeing in past years. Maybe the economy has made purchasing such machines more dear.
Children still love to play. Here, they had a sandbox full of corn to push around, and load. They loved it.
We wandered into the one arena to find a woman on a mustang--she was miked and as she rode around she extolled the virtues of these wild horses, and told how she bid on and got the horse she rode.
Another arena had ponies pulling weight--you can see the strain of the ponies in the blur of the photo.
And here is the weight they were pulling--we left as the announcer said "MORE WEIGHT."
People always go to the farm show for the animals. Last time we were there, there were no alpacas--now there are.
Not all animals are real--this entire scene is sculpted from butter (I am not kidding) and is the signature symbol of the Farm Show.
Here's the proof.
There were at least a half dozen cooking demonstration stands--all very popular, though I suspect it was really because they had chairs people could sit on. And they did. I don't know if they bought the cookware.
The more traditional animals--pigs even though there were many swine flu posters among the FFA entries.