Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Sixteen years ago, the Bellwood-Antis Farm Show was nothing more than a few exhibits in the gymnasium at the B-A High School. Then it started to grow.
Robert Whiteford, the president of the committee running the show, said yesterday that 15 years ago, he saw the need to move the event to a larger area. He said it was growing, and he was right.
That year, Whiteford and the crew moved the Farm Show to the Bellwood-Antis Community Park, and, with a 40-by-40 foot tent, new life was breathed into the event. But it continued to grow.
“Now, we’re here with two tractor trailer loads of things and a tent that measures 40-foot by 300-foot,” said Whiteford. “It’s a huge ordeal that the whole community looks forward to. We’re glad it’s growing and hope the interest continues.”
This year, the 67th year of the event, is seeing huge turnout, including more than 300 exhibitors and literally thousands of exhibit.
“If you want to see something, anything, it’s probably here,” said Whiteford.
The event began Tuesday and runs through Saturday.
According to Whiteford, there’s something there for everyone.
“We’ve got one heckuva a show here,” said Whiteford. “Whether you’re young or old, you’ll find something here you’ll enjoy. It’s definitely worth the trip out.”
The idea of a farm show or exhibition is to allow the public to view the various entries and exhibits throughout the week of the show. The public was invited to enter items in more than 20 different categories with plenty of subgroups, causing organizers to purchase literally thousands of blue, red and white ribbons for prizes.
“Last year, we gave out more than $10,000 in prize money and this year that number will be about the same,” said Whiteford.
Whether it’s farm fresh produce, a nicely stitched quilt, an antique item of interest, or a good-looking horse, there’s a category for it. Kids have the opportunity to win also. Each category has prizes for both the adults winners and the youth winner.
“We encourage the young people to enter exhibits,” said Whiteford. “Not only can they win a ribbon and have the enjoyment of showing an item, they could also put a buck in their pocket too.”
Yesterday, the tent was closed as guest judges spent the better part of seven hours examining exhibits and placing ribbons on the best pieces.
But there is more to the farm show than just contest exhibits.
The Tail Twister 4H Club and Bellwood Community Livestock Club brought along a tent full of animals for those attending to interact with. Here, visitors can find a miniature horse, a sow and her piglets, some calves, horses, ducks and ducklings, goats, sheep and rabbits.
“The kids really love the animals,” said Whiteford.
Also, there are displays from numerous community organizations and, of course, great food.
“We really take pride in this gathering,” said Whiteford. “Church groups, little leagues, fire seems everyone in the community want to be involved, and we want them to be. This is for the community and this great community really makes the show.”
There are still a number of events scheduled.
Special contests include Hershey’s Greatest Cocoa Contest, the PA Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Contest, the vegetable quick bread contest, the Hometown Heroes competition and display, the flower planter contest, and “Safety at the Fair” contest.
Tonight, Bellwood-Antis community members show their abilities and share their secrets for projects in and around the house during “Home Demonstrations” from 3-5:30 p.m.
A spelling bee for all students of the Bellwood-Antis School District is also on tap for tonight. Elementary school students will compete beginning at 5:30 p.m.; middle school students at 7 p.m.; and high school students at 8 p.m.
Finally, a band concert, featuring the Blue Devil high school band and others will be held at 6:30 p.m.
Tomorrow’s events include a homemade soup contest at 3 p.m. Entries for this contest will be accepted from noon to 3 p.m. Following the contest, organizers will hold a homemade soup sale at 4 p.m.
“A bowl of hot soup from the kettle and fresh baked bread is a perfect reason to come and join us,” said Whiteford. “Takeout orders are available.”
Pet lovers can show off their favorite pet at the Pet Parade beginning at 5 p.m. Friday. Those participating are asked to arrive at 4:30 p.m. to fill out a registration form.
Students from Andrea’s School of Dance in Bellwood will present a dance/jazz performance at 5:30 p.m. and more entertainment with a DJ is scheduled from 6-9 p.m.
The final day of the show, Saturday, will see even more events, beginning with an archery competition at 9 a.m.
The 4H Club will be showing its horses from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a delicious chicken barbecue is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
The premium check distribution is scheduled for 6 p.m. All exhibits must remain in place until 6 p.m. Removal of exhibits before that time will result in forfeiture of all premium money earned by the exhibitor.
Finally at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, there will be a public auction

By Rick