Attendance low for Pa. Farm Show’s in-person return, Ag Dept. says | Five for the Weekend
‘We knew attendance by visitors, vendors and exhibitors would be low this year as we navigate the return of a large-scale event in a new era,’ Department of Agriculture spokesperson Shannon Powers said
Displays and exhibits fill the halls at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).
Happy weekend, all.
The 2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show, which returned to Harrisburg this year, following a switch to entirely virtual programming last year, is just about under wraps.
Attendance this year was low compared to pre-pandemic years, with vendors, competitors and guests alike, choosing to forgo the crowds, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
“We knew attendance by visitors, vendors and exhibitors would be low this year as we navigate the return of a large-scale event in a new era,” Department of Agriculture spokesperson Shannon Powers told the Capital-Star in an email, adding, “the last in-person Farm Show in 2020 had more than 12,000 competitive exhibitors and this year’s competitive entries are just over 2,200. Commercial vendors and competitive exhibitors have continued to cancel past the first day of the show on Saturday. And, as anticipated, attendance appears to be low.”
Speaking to reporters last week, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding urged Pennsylvanians to consider the risk before attending this year’s Farm Show.
“Ahead of the show, Secretary Redding encouraged Pennsylvanians to take advantage of the tools available to them to protect against COVID-19 (masks, vaccines, boosters),” Powers said, “but with the understanding that ultimately, they have the choice of whether they feel comfortable attending.”
To mitigate the risk at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, the department widened aisles to reduce congestion and replaced the building’s HVAC system.
Additionally, masks, hand sanitizer were available throughout the building. The Pennsylvania Department of Health also supplied COVID-19 vaccines at this year’s event, but guests were not required to be vaccinated or masked to attend.
“We are glad to see Pennsylvanians exercising their right to choose what’s best for themselves,” Powers told the Capital-Star.
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And that’s the week. See you all back here next week.
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