Feb 11, 201310:45 AMCulture
Fun and Culture in the Mid-State
Mission: Farm Show Feed
It was that time of year when hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania residents and beyond become cowboys and cowgirls, even just for a day.
The Farm Show is an event that is a social norm for Pennsylvanians. Well, except for our very own Adventure Man, Jadrian, but he fits in now since he finally attended his first Farm Show (ever) for his column this month. So, we’ll now count him as a true central Pennsylvanian.
To give him the full experience, we set a goal for ourselves that not even I had embarked upon in the many years of Farm Show attendance that I’ve had.
This adventure, we went on a food-tasting, stomach-filling, crowd-conquering, animal-loving day. Our results were as follows:
Mission of the Day: Eat something from every single food stand at the farm show and visit every animal station.
Status of Mission: Accomplished eight hours and $68.50 later
Post Farm Show Status: Stinky clothes.
Status of Stomach after Mission: Resentful
Car-Pooling, Parking Perfection
Starting at 9 a.m. gave Jadrian and I a bit of an advantage in the parking madness that develops during this yearly event. When we were about a half block away from the Farm Show Complex on the corner of Cameron Street, we passed two places with signs saying “Farm Show Parking – $8.” As reluctant as we were to pay that considering we weren’t even in the building yet, we soon became very thankful for those offers.
We passed those parking lots and the complex and followed the sign directing us to the official Farm Show Parking, which was taking a right at the third light to be exact. So we turned right and drove, and drove, and still drove until finally pulling up to a lot advertising $10 parking. As a previous attendee of the Farm Show numerous times, I knew this was the normal price. But considering we were early, the far away location that cost $10 to park and required being bused to the complex made the $8 parking that was within walking distance seem like paradise.
So, we made a U-turn and went back past the complex and into the parking lot of the Budget Bakery. Not only was it $2 cheaper and we didn’t have to wait for a bus, but the proceeds went to a Boy Scout troop. We saved money and supported a good cause. We were off to a good start if you ask me.
Yep, I’m going to throw up.
We’re barely cracking 10 a.m., and I can already feel my mouth watering near my jawbone as if I am preparing to puke up everything I just ate.
I love to eat, and if someone allowed me, I would eat the entire day. It wasn’t necessarily the amount of food we had consumed so far, but more so the type of food we consumed.
We started our eating off with a deep-fried, dairy extravaganza and my stomach quickly began to disagree with the mixture of food that it was trying to breakdown. Let’s take a quick peak at what I started off with: Deep-fried mozzarella cubes with marinara sauce Chocolate and vanilla mixed milkshake Five clover honey sticks 12 oz apple cider Blooming onion.
Now, let’s be clear. Each and every one of these food selections were delicious. The fact that they were delicious was encouraging to keep eating.
However, the fact that these foods mixed up together into one tiny stomach within minutes of each other was something that wasn’t taken up well with my digestive system. Imagine eating nice deep-fried blooming onion and washing it down with a cold cup of apple cider. That awkward combination was more than overwhelming for my taste buds. The mix of bitter, sweet, greasy and crunchy combination wasn’t one of great choice.
Jadrian was on a roll and wanted to keep eating and eating until we puked, but I refused to allow that to happen to me. So, I suggested walking around to see the animals for awhile until we walked enough to help our bodies digest that not-so-healthy food combination we just consumed.
Considering we were at the farm show, the trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting all the animals that were there to observe. Since we went on the last day, we missed out on the new piglets with their mother and some other animals that were taken by the farmers prior to our arrival, but most of the animals were still around and ready to be fed, pet and acknowledged by the many spectators that came out to see them. I have to admit that seeing the children’s faces light up at the big cows, feathered roosters and freshly shaven sheep was heartwarming. But the animals aren’t just for the kiddos.
Jadrian and I were pleased to escort our art director, Lisette Magaro, along with her husband, Tony and their two children, around the animal exhibits. Although 2-year-old Nancy wasn’t exactly overwhelmed with joy when we tried to make her pet the cows, big brother Landen took the lead as he pet the cows’ heads.
The cows more than loved the attention, standing when they saw the next person in line waiting to pet them. I guess cows like being rubbed on the head, too. Jadrian got a little more love than he intended to. He stuck his hand out for the cow and instead almost got a handful of a long, pale pink, slimy tongue.
I had my encounter with the cows, too. In fact, I laid my head on one that was lying down. She was friendly enough not to care. I got a few pictures and quickly moved away from the 10-times-my-size animal. Not only did the cows vary in size, but there were even brown cows, which are my favorite. As a kid, I knew brown cows made chocolate milk. I mean, who doesn’t know that, right?
Eight hours and $68.50 later
Going on the last day of the Farm Show may not have been the best idea that we’ve ever had.
The crowds were shoulder-to-shoulder walking space, making it hard for those without much patience to tolerate the closeness of complete strangers. But that’s part of the experience – waiting in the long lines, fighting to get to the front of the group to see the animals, getting your toes stepped on and saying “excuse me” more times than you ever have in your life. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We spent eight hard hours and nearly $70, and it was all worth it. I was happy to introduce Jadrian to the Farm Show and I’m glad he’s actually a true central Pennsylvanian now.
It’s about time he became a cowboy for a day.