The Pennsylvania Farm Show got going yesterday, with the traditional unveiling of the popular butter sculpture.
We're a state that makes and eats tons of of the stuff, so it's only appropriate that in butter we celebrate Pennsylvania's agricultural bounty.
In the view from Harrisburg above, butter artist Jim Victor, center, talks about the 2013 sculpture with dairy farmer Harold Shaulis, left, and Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture George Greig, during the sculpture's unveiling. The 1,000-pound tableau depicts milk and dairy items as well as fruits and vegetables, grapes and wine, and even Christmas trees and timber, as you can see in the detail shot below.
Just think about that for a moment: Christmas trees, made of butter.
Harrisburg's a decent drive from Pittsburgh, but a lot of Western Pennsylvanians will be among the 400,000-plus attending the 97th Farm Show. It runs Jan. 5 through 12 at Harrisburg's Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.
Spread over 11 buildings and three arenas that add up to 24 acres, the show is billed as the largest indoor agricultural event in the United States with 10,000 competitive exhibits and nearly 300 commercial exhibitors.
Much of the fun revolves around food, including the PA Preferred Food Court, which will be serving new treats including veal meatball sandwiches and bacon on a stick, grilled beef sausage with peppers and onions, pumpkin funnel cakes and raspberry drinks as well as apple cider slushies and cherry pie. This on top of popular fare including baked potatoes, potato donuts, honey ice cream, apples, vegetable wraps, maple cotton candy, trout chowder -- the list goes on and on.
There's a Culinary Connection stage where the action will include performances and contests, including a Celebrity Best Cheeseburger Showdown and cooking demos by “The World’s Youngest Chef” Justin Miller and Food Network’s Dave Leiberman as well as local chefs and producers.
You can sample and buy Pennsylvania wines, too.
Plus there's all kinds of other things to see and do, and even doo-doo, as in Cow Pattie Bingo.
Admission is free, but parking on-site is $10; you can find out any detail you need on the show's website.
If you can't go, you still can get a glimpse of the fun by checking out the web cams pointed at the duck slide and the chick hatch.
Top photo: Bradley C. Bower, Associated Press
Bottom photo: Kate Penn, York Daily Record via Associated Press