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Huge crowds expected at annual Pa. Farm Show

| Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

Heather Wasson has been to the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg twice before but this is the first year she will stay for its entirety.

The State College resident and Pennsylvania Alternate Dairy Princess will be one of the expected 400,000 attendees this year and she urges as many people as possible to make the trip.

“I think they should definitely go,” she said. “It's something that I don't think they will ever experience again.”

The eight-day event at the Farm Show Complex will feature food, competitions and more than 8,000 animals. One of the fan favorite events is the sheep to shawl contest, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture deputy press secretary Nichole Bucher said.

Teams shear sheep in the Wednesday contest and give the wool to weavers who make shawls in front of the audience.

Bucher also described a new event to the farm show that will take place on Tuesday called “Cow Patty Bingo” where they let bovines loose on a giant bingo board and wherever they “plop down” is the space that wins.

It will also feature new food items such as bacon on a stick, veal meatballs and old favorites like potato doughnuts and milkshakes, Bucher said.

She said farmers and non-farmers alike come to the show every year because it's not tailored toward just agricultural experts, adding that the majority of the people are not directly associated with the industry.

“Agriculture touches everybody's life every day,” she said. “It's a great place to see the best of the best of Pennsylvania agriculture.”

It will be a busy week for Wasson, working at many spots including the educational booth, which is designed to teach people about different types of agricultural practices.

She also compared the event to the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair, saying that much of the activities are the same minus the fair rides.

Wasson is most looking forward to meeting all the people she can and learning from them, she said.

Though it would be a busy day, Bucher said it is possible to see everything in one day and there is a mix of people that see it for just one day and many who attend on multiple days.

Parking is $10, but admission to the event is free.

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