Seems there's a perception among some of you that the Pennsylvania Farm Show is a growler full of lame. Sure, the show opened Friday with straw-bale judging on the docket, but trust us, the country's largest indoor agricultural event actually packs in a lot of action and oddity among the pigs and produce.
We've lassoed up one can't-miss event each day to give you plenty of material for bantering about with your craft-brew-loving colleagues, even if slightly ironically. But we guarantee you'll also learn something about your community and the food and goods you buy. So leave the nay-saying for the horses and give these recommendations a try:
Chef Nadia G.: Things could get a little crazy when the host of Cooking Channel's "Bitchin' Kitchen" brings her humor and hunger to the Main Floor for cooking demos at noon and 2 p.m. Her ingredients and her attitude are known to be fresh.
Rabbit hopping: Picture an equine jumping competition, and then sub out the horses for adorable bunny rabbits. Squeee! The competition gets hopping at 3:30 p.m. in the Small Arena.
Cow patty bingo: It's a simple game: You pick a square. At 5:15 p.m. in the Large Arena, a cow meanders about on the playing grid. The cow takes a dump. If the steaming pile graces your square, you win. Hooray for you! Hooray for America!
Carriage racing: These aren't your moonlit-stroll-through-the-park carriages. Check out that photo - these folks aren't messing around. Catch them in action at 1:30 p.m. in the Large Arena.
Sheep to Shawl: With the speed and precision of a Formula One pit crew, teams race to shear wool from a sheep's back, spin it to thread and create complete garments right in front of you. It happens at 3 p.m. in the Small Arena. It's pretty baaaah-dass.
Listen to these demos: Pop your collar(s) and check out the polo demonstration at 4:30 p.m. in the Equine Arena. If you miss that, we hear the honey extraction demo at 5 p.m. in the Main Hall is supposed to be pretty sweet.
Tractor square dancing: If old-time tractors are retro cool, and square dancing is kitschy fun, then you have to check out old-time tractor square dancing because obvs. The engines fire at 10 a.m., and again at noon in the Large Arena.
Circuit Finals Rodeo: It's boots and chaps, it's cowboy hats. It's spurs and a lot of gold. It's the ropes and the reins and the joy and the pain and they call the thing rodeo. Garth Brooks, anybody? "¦ No? "¦ Just kidding. But the rodeo starts at 5 p.m. in the Large Arena.
If you go
What: Pennsylvania Farm Show
When: Jan. 4 to 11
Where: Pa. Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, 2300 North Cameron St., Harrisburg
Cost: Admission is free; parking is $10
Details: Visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us for more information.