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Environment & Energy

Parking revenue indicates drop-off in Pennsylvania Farm Show attendance

Pennsylvania Farm Show 2022
Jacqueline Larma
Ducklings huddle together in an exhibit at the 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, in Harrisburg, Pa. The Farm Show runs through Saturday, Jan. 15.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show returned as an in-person event this month, but parking revenue suggests many stayed away during the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Agriculture said Thursday that parking revenue was down by more than 40% from 2020, the most recent in-person show. Last year's show was done virtually.

Parking revenue is used as a rough proxy to gauge attendance at the Farm Show, because the massive indoor agriculture exposition held every January in Harrisburg does not charge admission or count how many people come through its doors.

In a normal year, some half-million people attend.

An Agriculture Department spokesperson said more than 600 people at the Farm Show this year were vaccinated against COVID-19 or the flu at on-site Health Department clinics.

The theme of this year's show, held Jan. 8-15, was Harvesting More.