63rd Manheim Farm Show kicks off Oct. 3

By on September 21, 2016

The 63rd annual Manheim Community Farm Show begins Monday, Oct. 3, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 8. As in previous years, it will be held at the Farm Show Complex off Adele Avenue. Activities are also held in areas of the adjacent Manheim Veterans Memorial Park.

“The Farm Show is kind of a homecoming for our community,” said Farm Show president Marlin Becker. “People can meet their neighbors, friends, and school classmates here.”

This year’s Farm Show will feature a mix of traditional and new activities. Included in the mix are the baby parade, opening ceremony and crowning of Farm Show royalty all on Monday; Farm Show parade on Wednesday; bake sale; alpaca obstacle demonstration; antique tractor show and pedal tractor pull. Since this is a true farm show there are also rabbit, goat and sheep shows as well as swine, beef and dairy beef judging. There’s also blacksmith and woodcarving demonstrations throughout the week.

“We are an ag community, so we showcase both our agricultural heritage and the agriculture of today,” Becker said, “We’ll also have plans for our new show ring/arena building on display. It will replace the existing show ring/arena building.”

Thursday night is Family Fun Night with special activities. Families will also enjoy the Manheim FFA Children’s Farm Show. Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary will host reptile shows on the Exhibition Center stage Friday at 1, 3 and 5 p.m.

An Ag Promotions tent will feature cooking demonstrations in the evenings. Radell Peters, a chef at Virginia Tech who previously showed sheep and dairy beef at the Farm Show, will demonstrate grilling techniques.

“We’re proud that we have people like Radell who participated in the Farm Show and have gone on to other careers, who want to come back to share their skills with the community,” Becker said.

Also new this year are free “make and take” classes from noon to 4 p.m. for kids, teens and adults at the tent.

“There are a lot of things for kids to do,” Becker said. “We have a lot of homeschoolers, so we decided to add the crafts.”

Owen Alexander at the wheel of a recreated International Harvester during the 2015 Manheim Farm Show Baby Parade. This year’s parade is Monday, Oct. 3, at 5:30 p.m. (Photo by Rochelle Shenk)

Owen Alexander at the wheel of a recreated International Harvester during the 2015 Manheim Farm Show Baby Parade. This year’s parade is Monday, Oct. 3, at 5:30 p.m. (Photo by Rochelle Shenk)

The Farm Show also features a variety of contests for produce, baked, or canned goods, floral exhibits, sewing, needlework, woodwork, fine art, photography and art. Among the new contests are creative art ornament, a People’s Choice Award for theme basket, a food safety poster contest; and Hometown Favorite People’s Choice award for an 8 x 10 unframed photo of an assigned theme; this year’s theme is harvest time.

And don’t forget, the tempting Farm Show food. The 24 vendors offer a variety of farm-to-fork options. One of the things that makes the Manheim Farm Show unique is that food stands are operated by community organizations. So when people line up for popular items such as fries, milkshakes (chocolate or vanilla), cheesesteaks, or chicken corn soup, they’re supporting the community.

Becker said that as a whole, food stands typically earn over $120,000 profit annually, and that stays within the community.

“It really is all about community,” Becker stressed. “Volunteers give of their time to make Farm Show week a success, we collect canned goods to donate to the Manheim Food Pantry and even the animal projects and the auction earn money to help youth.”

A number of community groups also host events in conjunction with the Farm Show. The Manheim Chamber’s Business Expo will be held in the high school gym from noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6. Chamber spokesperson Kelly Lauver said that this year the event combines the traditional business showcase and a job fair.

Matalyn Gibble was last year’s Farm Show Queen. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Matalyn Gibble was last year’s Farm Show Queen. (Photo by Stan Hall)

“As a chamber we want to meet the needs of area businesses, and there are jobs to be filled here,” she explained.

The Manheim Lions Club and the Central PA Blood Bank will hold a blood drive from 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7 at the Farm Show Exhibition Center.

For more information, and a detailed Farm Show schedule, visit manheimfarmshow.org. For additional information on the chamber business expo visit manheimchamber.com.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

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