Saturday, January 7, 2012

PA Farm Show 2012

I took photos of this months ago when Jess finished what she calls her Epic Shawl, but I forgot to share them.  Probably because I took them on my phone, and they weren’t so great. (The photos, not the shawl, which is astoundingly beautiful and took her a year to knit.) Here is a shot I took at Knit Night back in September:shawl1 Jess finished this in August and entered it in our local fair, the South Mountain Fair, where it won Best in Show.  Wow!  And completely deserved! It’s so long you can’t see the whole thing in one shot.  Here’s Kris holding up the other end:Shawl2 We convinced her to send this up to the PA Farm Show, our version of a state fair, which is always in January.  This is kind of unusual for state to have their big fairs in the winter, but the farmers are free then, and we have a State Farm Complex in Harrisburg where the whole thing can be held under one roof.  We have a tradition of having nasty winter weather (blizzards, ice storms) during Farm Show opening weekend, but this year surprised us and the temperature rose above 60 degrees.  (This is bad news for many farmers, actually…)

Anyway, Jess’s shawl was on display today.  Only the prizewinners are guaranteed to be displayed, and somehow she didn’t win a ribbon.  I have no idea why, because some of the winners were just really not so great… but competition was stiff in her category (Hand Knitted Accessory).  But she made the display case!  You can see, though, that showing a folded stole on a shelf doesn’t do the garment justice:IMG_0438 Still, we were thrilled to see it.  Here’s the knitter herself, sporting a fun handknit hat and some micro-skein earrings she bought moments earlier:IMG_0441 Wanna see what won in her category?  It was good, so that helped a bit.  A stranded hat:IMG_0439 As you might expect, the best of Pennsylvania produce was on display. We saw lots of this:IMG_0444 And of course, the butter sculpture:



Here is the display for MY local apple grower, Hollabaugh Bros. in Biglerville:


We saw so many neat displays. Honeybees, maple syrup, mushrooms. Anything that comes out of Penn State. Check out this winter scene, constructed entirely of mushrooms:IMG_0460Boy 1 spotted this sign:


Yes, there were 4 holes of mini golf set up, each with an educational message about pesticide safety:IMG_0466We got more Mr. Yuck stickers here.

Then, on to the East Hall – Poultry. IMG_0471 This is where the real drama of the show is.  Check out the kids watching the eggs:IMG_0473While we were there, this chick – which must have just come out because it looked wet and exhausted just laying there by the light bulb – got up and hopped around, cheering its incubator-buddies on.


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And then, the reality TV show of the day – the Duckling Slide. First, the handler gives the webcam viewers at home a close up shot:IMG_0481 Then a couple of kids move the ducklings from their cage to the slide area.  The ducklings are coaxed up the slide by food and then go PLOP! into the water.  Hilarious and very popular.  I couldn’t get anywhere close to the front, but Boy 1 managed to work his way to the edge.  I mostly got these shots by holding the camera up as high as I could.IMG_0483We were on the “step” side rather than the “slide” side.

IMG_0487Later, we saw some sheep, pigs, and cows.  And then we stopped into the Equine Arena to see what was going on.  Some kind of cart competition.  These horses were dressed up fancy!  (Steven, is this was Amy does?) IMG_0492 Check out the bow on this horse’s backside, all wrapped up like a present:


In the junior classes, the competitors have to have another person riding with them.IMG_0503

And I can’t believe I forgot to mention the food!  We ended up eating from the “potato” and “dairy” groups pretty much exclusively, but they were yummy.  The Farm Show milkshakes are renowned for good reason.

The Farm show is mostly about displays, but there were a few booths with items for sale.  While Boy 1 rode the carousel (yes, there was one set up in the Main Hall), I spied some fiber and investigated.  I bought a Spinner’s Sampler Pack of sheep breeds (1 oz each of Shetland, Coopworth, Romney, and Lincoln) and 2 oz of Icelandic wool roving:IMG_0510 IMG_0511 IMG_0513 Also got a “stick weaving” kit for Boy 1, who was interested (he rocked the potholder category for Christmas this year).IMG_0519

If you’re in this neck of the woods, a trip to the Farm Show is definitely worth it!  Admission is free, but it costs $10 to park near the complex.

Thanks for a fun day, knitters (and Boy 1 and IHH)!  I think Jess should enter her shawl in the MDSW Skein and Garment competition this year, don’t you?


  1. My parents were at the FS when you were. could have met them. hard to believe that over a decade revolved around this January tradition.

  2. Wow -- that looks like a lot of fun. I told Jeff about it, and he promised to take me to the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show some day -- also held in January.

    Yes - MDSW needs to have that shawl in competition. Do it Jess! It's so, so gorgeous.

    And I think the things with two wheels are called "harness," instead of carriage driving, but I may be thinking of the racing version. I'll point Amy to this post, and she can clarify.