Trees blossom by the newly paved parking lot where the Farm Show Spring Food Fest will be held May 7-9 PHOTO BY DEBORAH LYNCH
This January’s virtual Farm Show was a way to help the public and those in agriculture stay connected during difficult times, but one thing Farm Show fans expressed missing the most was the food. They will be happy to learn that the food court is sprouting like a flower in the spring as the Farm Show plans to hold a Spring Food Fest May 7-9 in the parking lot by the Giant Expo Hall. The fest runs 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.
Seven traditional food court vendors will set up stands selling everything from pulled pork and brisket sandwiches to chicken tenders and bloomin’ onions to french fries and fried pickles. Oh, and don’t forget the breaded mushrooms and milkshakes, of course.
Additionally, 17 PA Preferred Marketplace — the state’s brand for locally produced agricultural products — vendors will sell products like nut butters, cheeses, wine and beer, among many other food items for home.
“One thing that everybody commented on that they missed and the one thing everybody was sad not to experience was the food court,” said Emily Demsey, PA Farm Show Complex communications director.
Demsey noted that the vendors also missed the event, not only for the money they raised for their businesses, but for the money they raised for non-profits. “We’re excited to be able to do this for them and get back to tasting the farm show specialties this spring.”
Vendors pay 10 percent of their total sales to participate in the food fest, most of which is used by the Farm Show complex to cover staff, resources, and cleanup for the event.
Although vendors initially showed some reluctance to sign on for a fall food fest held last November, a successful event was held, which made “people really excited to jump on board for the spring food fest,” Demsey said, noting that the spring fest has a few more vendors participating.
“The Food Fest is an important reminder for Pennsylvanians of our everyday ties to agriculture,” Demsey said. “We all need to eat, and for the past year, Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry never stopped working to ensure we didn’t go without. The Food Fest is an opportunity to thank Pennsylvania’s farmers and be comforted with foods from one of Pennsylvania’s most beloved traditions.”
For more information and a full list of vendors, go to https://www.farmshow.pa.gov/pafarmshow/Media/Pages/default.aspx