Manheim Farm Show ends the county’s fair season

By on October 12, 2016

The 63rd annual Manheim Community Farm Show was set against a backdrop of warm, sunny skies. The Farm Show’s week-long run caps off the county’s fair season, which began in mid- to late-August with the Elizabethtown Fair.

The Farm Show was filled with a variety of activities, ranging from crowing of Farm Show royalty, the Farm Show parade, Thursday’s Family Fun Night, wood carving and blacksmithing demonstrations, animal showmanship, and an opportunity for children to interact with animals and learn a bit about agriculture at the Manheim FFA’s Children’s Farm Show.

Perhaps a statement from the Farm Show directors on its website manheimfarmshow.org says it all: “The Manheim Community Farm Show exists to promote agriculture, crafts and competition in a friendly environment that encourages family values and cooperation.”

Alpacas at the Manheim FFA Children’s Farm Show.

Alpacas at the Manheim FFA Children’s Farm Show.

The Manheim FFA’s Children’s Farm Show proved to be as popular as ever. Children not only had the opportunity to hold rabbits and Guinea pigs, but also to observe alpacas, young piglets and three Sebastopol geese with their showy feathers. They could also enjoy the challenge of moving kernels of corn with model farm equipment and learn about how Superhero Farmers feed America by playing the fancifully named Farmer Mon Go scavenger hunt.

One of the new activities this year was the Make and Take craft activity.

“We did something different every day (Monday through Thursday). One day we had a more of an adult-activity: making greeting cards; another day we had an instructor show kids how to make a jump rope,” said farm show director Judy Zurin, who coordinated the Make and Take activities. “They were all really popular.”

Manheim Borough Police Sgt. Aaron Szulborski and his partner, K-9 officer Bayne, stopped by the Manheim Chamber’s Business Expo on Thursday

Manheim Borough Police Sgt. Aaron Szulborski and his partner, K-9 officer Bayne, stopped by the Manheim Chamber’s Business Expo on Thursday

One activity that proved to be tremendously popular was creating a scarecrow. This intergenerational activity had parents and/or grandparents working with the kids to create and dress a scarecrow. And it drew both younger children and teens. Most kids even named their creation. The activity proved to be so popular on Thursday afternoon that supplies ran out after two hours.

“We picked up a lot of the clothing and accessories at yard sales and flea markets,” Zurin said. “It was really neat to see everyone having so much fun. I had no idea this would be such a hit.”

The farm show also features a variety of arts and crafts contests to allow people to showcase their talents. Zurin pointed out that the Hometown Favorite photography contest has seen an increase in entries since it was introduced three years ago. The theme of the Hometown Favorite competition changes annually — this year’s theme was harvest time, while next year’s theme will be birds. Zurin said that the photos are displayed, and Farm Show visitors vote for their favorite. The top three not only win prizes, but they are framed and on display in the Exhibition Center the following year and will be auctioned at during the Thursday night auction.

Jordan Habecker, with his goat Figgy Pudding, who was named the reserve champion doe. Figgy Pudding received her name from the fact that she was born in December 2014.

Jordan Habecker, with his goat Figgy Pudding, who was named the reserve champion doe. Figgy Pudding received her name from the fact that she was born in December 2014.

The fun and excitement of farm show week also came with some tough decisions– which tasty food to purchase for lunch, dinner, or a snack. Each of the 24 food vendors was an area service club or non-profit, so visitors not only had some wonderful fare to select from, but they also helped community organizations. The farm show’s outreach didn’t stop there; items for the Manheim Central Food Pantry were collected throughout the week and during the parade.

Additionally the Manheim Chamber held its annual Business Expo on Thursday in conjunction with farm show week. This year in addition to exhibits from various businesses, the event also included a job fair. The Manheim Community Library hosted a children’s story time, and those attending the Business Expo also had an opportunity to visit with Manheim’s K-9 officer Bayne and his partner Sgt. Aaron Szulborski.

This Sebastopol goose was part of the Manheim FFA Children’s Farm Show.

This Sebastopol goose was part of the Manheim FFA Children’s Farm Show.

“The farm show is not only about agriculture, but it’s also about community,” Farm Show president Marlin Becker said.

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

Xander Nguyen puts corn kernels in a wagon at the Manheim FFA Children’s Farm Show.

Xander Nguyen puts corn kernels in a wagon at the Manheim FFA Children’s Farm Show.

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