Every year, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania residents, tourists, farmers, producers and more flock to the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg for the PA Farm Show. Now in its 103rd year, the PA Farm show is set for January 5–12, 2019, and will continue its tradition as the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, featuring 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors.
The PA Farm Show is all about our state’s agriculture, and of course, this includes Pennsylvania cider! Just as other statewide growers associations — like the PA Dairymen’s Association and the PA Co-OperativePotato Growers, Inc. — will be representing their industries at the show, the PA Cider Guild will be there, sharing our products with and educating the public about the agricultural and culinary connection that makes Pennsylvania’s cider industry so special.We’ve got a lot planned for the 2019 PA Farm Show! Here are the highlights:
• The second Annual PA Cider Contest: Last year was the first-ever PA Cider Contest at the Farm Show, a very important step for us to establish the legitimacy of and strengthen the Pennsylvania cider community. This year, judging took place on Sunday, December 9, 2018, and as with last year, the only criteria are that all ciders must use 70 percent or more Pennsylvania fruit in production and all entering cideries must be PACider Guild members. The winners will be announced on stage at the Weis Exhibition Hall on the opening day of the show, Saturday, January 5, 2019.
• Brand-new Pennsylvania cider area in the Main Hall: This will be running all week! We’ll have a much bigger area than last year. Contest winners will be on display, and plenty of educational materials will be available for cider diehards and the cider-curious alike.
• Free cider sampling: Yes, you read that right! We’ll be debuting the PACG Cider Garden in the corner of the Main Hall of the PA Farm Show Building. We’ll offer complimentary samples every day of the show between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to attendees 21+. The Cider Garden will feature a rotating crew of different PA Cider Guild member cideries and information on how to become involved in the Guild and the PA Cider Fest. We’ll use our delicious and diverse ciders to create educational opportunities about cider and its makers, as well as where to find cider in the state.
Cideries that will be at the Cider Garden include:
• Big Hill Ciderworks (Gardners)
• Dressler Estate (Downingtown)
• Frecon Farms (Boyertown)
• Hale & True Cider Co. (Philadelphia)
• Kurant Cider (Philadelphia)
• Ploughman Cider (Aspers)
• Spring Gate Vineyard and Winery (Harrisburg)
Photo Credit: Mary Bigham