Annual event offers lots for youngsters

HARRISBURG – Scores of children carried colorful peacock feathers around the Farm Show Complex on Saturday. The blue-green eyes waved in the air everywhere, if the feather wasn’t dyed some other eye-catching hue.

Erdman Game Farm, of Herndon, sold parents the feathers at its stand in North Hall.

“What else at Farm Show can you get that will entertain a child for a dollar?” said Justin Erdman. “You can find them in a crowd and at the end of the day it’s broken and you’ve only wasted a dollar.”

Some parents, after hours of feathers brushing their faces, weren’t so tickled – a number of kids had their feathers confiscated as the day wore on.

Whether you trust your little one to play peacock all day, there’s plenty of entertainment options for young children at the 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

The Penn State pesticide education program sponsors a three-hole minigolf course in the Main Hall; kids, and grown-ups, too, can have their picture taken with the roaming Nittany Lions.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission sponsors a Historical Marker Scavenger Hunt that features 24 replicas of agriculture-related roadside markers. A child can pick up a booklet in several places around the Farm Show, follow the Marker Trail map and submit answers to the commission’s booth or online by Jan. 25 for the chance to win a prize pack.

Another sleuthing option is produced by the Department of Agriculture: Farm Show Detectives is a series of 28 booths, staffed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., that offer all sorts of animals for petting or display – everything from alpacas to rabbits to turtles – as well as interactive exhibits that demonstrate such varied activities as beekeeping and woodworking.

New events on the docket include a polo demonstration (horse, not water) and the Great Grape Stomp, both to be held Thursday afternoon.