Pennsylvania Farm Show organizers unveil 2016 event plans for 100th anniversary

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -  The next Pennsylvania Farm Show may be seven months away, but planning efforts are already underway for the show's 100th anniversary. On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding unveiled the theme and logo for the 2016 show.

The theme – "The 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show: Our Commonwealth’s Blue Ribbon Experience" – is a nod to each experience visitors have enjoyed since the first exhibition took place in 1917. The logo – a blue ribbon – recognizes the range of exhibits and contests that take place throughout the week-long event and make the Farm Show Pennsylvania’s state fair.

"What an honor it is to have a building and the covenant to host a show that is focused on Pennsylvania's leading economic enterprise," Redding said. "This is a gift.... one that we want to honor in the 100th show. "

New to the Farm Show Preparations

The department has planned the 100th show since February. Part of the planning includes the development of a new governance structure that will work with the existing Farm Show Commission to help with preparation. The governance structure includes an overall steering committee with sub-committees focused on capturing the historical timelines of the Pennsylvania Farm Show, along with the marketing of the various competitions and special events scheduling. The commission and leaders of the steering committee and sub-committees met today at the Farm Show Complex, where Redding unveiled the theme and logo.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show History

The PA Farm Show began as a three-day exhibition in 1917 to give farmers an opportunity to discuss issues, opportunities and challenges. It is estimated that about 5,000 people attended the first show in a three-story building in downtown Harrisburg. Today, the show lasts eight days and attracts more than half-a-million visitors to the Farm Show Complex, which offers 24 acres of exhibition space under one roof.

“The history of the Pennsylvania Farm Show is, in large part, the story of Pennsylvania,” said Redding. “The strength of the commonwealth and the strength of Pennsylvania agriculture lie in its diversity. This 100th show will highlight that diversity, as well as our history as an industry and where we’re headed in the future."

The show is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, featuring 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits, and 300 commercial exhibitors. According to a recent report issued by the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau, the 2015 show had an estimated economic impact of $95 million to the south-central Pennsylvania region, supporting more than 18,000 jobs over the course of the week-long event this year.

The 2016 Farm Show runs  Janaury 9th through the 16th.

Admission into the Farm Show Complex is free and parking costs $10.