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Farm Show attendance down; weather to blame

Updated: Friday, January 10 2014, 07:01 PM CST
Reported by: Chris Papst

Attendance at the Farm Show is down this year when compared to 2013, and the weather may be to blame. 

Overall, attendance is down about 20 percent this year, over last year. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a good week. In fact, yesterday was a record breaking day. 

There are lines of buses filled with eager student waiting to get in; lines of people slowly traveling up the escalator: and of course long lines of the hungry waiting for food.

But these lines aren’t quite as long as lines of years past. 

 “We feel it’s clearly weather-related. We had that snow and ice in the beginning of the week and the extreme cold,” said Patrick Kerwin, executive director of the Farm Show Complex. 

This year’s attendance, so far, is about 20 percent less than last year. But that’s because in 2013, a record 585,000 visitors walked through these doors.

But now with the bad weather behind us, attendance is on the rebound and 2014 should end up being an average year. Although yesterday was the busiest Thursday in Farm Show history. “In the last couple of days our sales have picked up just a little bit,” said David Smith. 

With the lower numbers, vendors are feeling the pinch. Even one of the most popular attractions – the milkshakes – have seen a decrease in revenue. 

“Sales-wise compared to last year, we’re probably 8 to10 percent behind where we were a year ago,” David Smith, milkshake manager, said. 

The proceeds from this show go back into the Pennsylvania agricultural community, so the hope is for a strong finish. 

“It is a big day tomorrow, the closing day. We encourage people to come out and enjoy the Farm Show. It’s a great way to enjoy a Saturday. It’s warm and toasty inside and they’ll have a great experience,” Kerwin said. 

The Farm Show is opening tonight until 9:00 and then tomorrow until 5:00.Farm Show attendance down; weather to blame

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