Under an hour away from the Historic Smithton Inn, the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex (PA Farm Show Complex) is a premier venue for a variety of attractions, shows, and exhibits. Spread throughout 11 halls and 3 arenas and boasting nearly 9,000 parking spaces, this is one of the largest gathering places in the area. The name rings true to many of the events that occur at the PA Farm Show Complex. There are many agricultural showcases that take place at this convention center. There are also car shows, sporting events, equine shows, corporate meetings, and commercial shows.
If you are attending a business event at the complex, consider staying with us at our country retreat in Ephrata, PA. The Historic Smithton Inn offers some solace away from the bustling PA Farm Show Complex and provides a charming, historic home away from home. To discover more venues and events happening near the Historic Smithton Inn, download our free vacation guide!
History of the PA Farm Show Complex
Farming has been a massive industry in Pennsylvania since colonial days and still remains an important focus. In the mid-1600s, the state’s founder William Penn organized an agricultural show for farmers to gather and share knowledge and technology. Over the next several hundred years, there were various gatherings held throughout the state spread through downtown locations. In 1917, hundreds of farmers and agriculturalists gathered for the very first statewide Farm Show. As this popular event grew, there was need for a larger exhibit space. Construction began on the Main Exhibition Building, not known as the Main Hall, and the 10-acre space held its first event in 1931.
What followed was more funding and construction to create more updates to the facility throughout the years. A coliseum was erected with a large arena that included floor space, seating, and additional meeting areas. In 1953, a milk house facility was added, including a 10-acre expansion of the North parking lot. More amenities were installed, such as an elevator and fire alarm system. Then, an exhibition hall, new lighting, and sound systems were created. The outcome is the PA Farm Show Complex as you see it today. The largest indoor agricultural event in the world includes 24 acres of animals, educational encounters, displays, food, and fun.
Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center Events
Now, the complex is still largely used for agricultural shows and exhibits. These are consistent throughout the year, with multiple events per week. The Farmers Open Air Market is held here, as well as horse sales and shows, dairy exhibits, and more. In the entertainment spectrum, the expo holds other non-agricultural events such as soccer games, beer festivals, flea markets, and holiday shows. Many corporate gatherings occur at the PA Farm Show Complex as well, hosted by a variety of businesses both in the area and from afar.
Spend Your Corporate Retreat at Historic Smithton Inn
If you are traveling to the PA Farm Show Complex for business or for an agricultural show away from home, then consider staying with us at the Historic Smithton Inn. Our comfortable accommodations in the heart of Amish Country provide a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of expo activities. Retreat in the evenings to our beautiful inn, built in 1763 but with all the modern touches you could ask for. We even have an electric vehicle charging station! After a peaceful night’s rest, enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast each morning before heading back to the PA Farm Show Complex. We hope to accommodate you at our inn during your stay in Pennsylvania!