It's time for Farm Expo 2014.
The annual events returns to MeadowView Convention Center in Kingsport, Jan. 17-19, with a full slate of fun for farmers, as well as the whole family.
The 17th Annual Farm Expo is first and foremost a celebration of farmers with plenty of resources for the agriculture mindset. The Farmer of the Year will be announced on the main stage at 3 p.m., Saturday, and will recognize individuals for exemplary efforts in agriculture.
And, this year, Farm Expo will feature a little something extra for Times-News subscribers. Be sure to check in at the front door, and you'll automatically be entered to win a 42-inch color television. You may also get a chance to spin the Farm Wheel of Fortune, where we'll be giving away subscriber prizes all weekend long. Plus, we'll have lots more fun at the Times-News booth, including treats and games for the kids and Happy Snaps photos for the whole family.
Of course, the expo isn't just for farmers. The event caters to backyard gardeners, outdoor enthusiasts and families as well.
Agricultural extension agents and master gardeners will be available throughout the weekend to answer questions, and will offer free seminars. Washington County Extension Agent John Hamrick will present a “Raising Honey Bees” workshop at 11:30 a.m., Saturday.
Hunters will be pleased to discover that the Appalachian Whitetail Association will score bucks free through 2 p.m., Sunday. The AWA will award prizes for the best buck of last season at 4 p.m, Sunday. In addition, the association will also present a deer scoring workshop at 4:10 p.m. on Saturday.
The Country Fair and Ladies Market will offer a variety of unique and homemade items, such as fragrance, goat milk soap from Salem Farms and lavender products from A Lavender Manor, LLC.
At the Farm Expo, local companies get a chance to showcase services and products in person. There will be all varieties of farm and gardening equipment including an assortment of trucks, tractors and ATVs.
Keeping with the family-friendly theme of the Farm Expo, there will be a special area just for children. The 4-H Playland and Petting Zoo will be stocked with horses, sheep, rabbits and alpacas. Plus, there will be games for all ages like the “Guess My Weight Game” with Elsie and the “Bring Your Best Roar Contest” at 4:15 p.m., Saturday, for ages 2 through 12.
The children’s area will open at 5 p.m., Friday, and continue through normal expo hours.
Traditional Farm Expo favorites will also be on hand. The Exchange Place will present an 1850s farmstead where children can meet Marriott the rooster and play with old-fashioned toys and make cloth dolls. There will also be spinning and quilting demonstrations. The First Frontier Quilters of Kingsport will host a quilt show and no one can forget the long-time favorite “Little Kids' Tractor Pull.”
The Ice Cream Social is always a big draw for families. It will take place from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, and is sponsored by Marble Slab Creamery.
Entertainment is another Farm Expo staple.
Josh Smith from News Channel 11 and Tom Taylor, the morning announcer for Tri-Cities Top Gun, will be the emcees introducing a variety of acts from bluegrass to gospel. The Dennis Cove Band will perform at 7 p.m., Friday. Then, on Saturday, line dancing will start at 12:30 p.m. and the Sullivan County 4-H will host a talent show at 3:15 p.m. And wrapping up the last day of the expo will be a set by Hollow Ground at 3 p.m., Sunday.
Farm Expo hours are from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday; and from 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $6.
For more information, call 423-722-0527 or visit www.TriCitiesEventMarketing.com for a complete schedule of events.