The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center (Commonwealth Media Services photo).
Starting this September, the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg will once again start playing host to large events, officials said Thursday.
The looming return of such events as sports tournaments and agricultural shows and competitions marks the end of a 16-month, pandemic-inspired hiatus that saw the sprawling building transformed into a storage facility for the state’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).
State Treasurer Stacy Garrity confirmed Thursday that the state has procured a warehouse lease from Moran Logistics at an undisclosed location where the PPE supply will be moved before guests can visit the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center.
“This is a huge win for the agricultural community and for taxpayers,” Garrity said in a statement. “The Farm Show Complex is tremendously important to Pennsylvania’s agricultural community and the state’s overall economy. As long as vast quantities of PPE are stored there, it can’t be used for its intended purpose. It’s essential that the PPE be moved to another location as quickly as possible. I’m pleased the trucks will be rolling soon.”
State Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said in a statement Thursday that key agricultural events, such as the Keystone International Livestock Show, the Standardbred Horse Sale and the Pennsylvania Farm Show, will be held at the facility this year.
“The Farm Show Complex is a tremendously valuable business and tourism asset for our state and region,” Redding said. “But in times of crisis, it has proven to be a priceless asset to Pennsylvania’s safety, security and public health. While we could not safely gather in large numbers, the complex offered a secure distribution hub for crucial public health and food security supplies.
“Now that we are once again able to gather safely, we are opening up for this weekend’s Food Fest, for large sporting events, horse and cattle shows and other events.
Redding said thousands of exhibitors and tens of thousands more spectators from across the nation will descend on the complex this fall for such events as the All-American Dairy Show, Keystone International Livestock Show, and Penn National Horse Show. Thousands more will attend the annual Pennsylvania Christmas Craft Show, and in the winter, the Pennsylvania Farm Show and Great American Outdoor Show this winter, he added.
“As we feed, entertain and educate our guests, the health and safety of human and animal visitors continue to be paramount and the facility meets the highest standards for biosecurity and rigorous health safeguards,” Redding said.
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