December 08, 2020
The annual Pennsylvania Farm Show butter sculpture will not be joining this year's virtual spread.
In light of the significant surge in COVID-19 cases across the state, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said it couldn't risk spreading the virus by having the sculptors travel to Harrisburg to create the sculpture for the virtual event this year.
Montgomery County-based sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton have created the annual butter display since 2008.
"Pennsylvania is experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases with higher daily case counts than we saw in the spring," Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said in a press release. "While we are heartbroken to have to cancel popular features of our annual Farm Show, we simply cannot afford to compromise the health and safety of our staff, the sculptors who would have to travel to Harrisburg, and those involved in recording and broadcasting virtual events."
Like most events this year, the Farm Show was moved to an online format earlier this year, with the theme "Cultivating Tomorrow." Starting on Jan. 9, 2021, the virtual event will feature live and pre-recorded content, as well as an online resource library.
The Department had previously said the butter sculpture would be one of several video feeds during the virtual event, alongside live ducklings and beehives. Other virtual events like cooking demonstrations and tractor pulls were scheduled as well.
Last year's sculpture depicted three iconic Pennsylvania mascots: the Flyers' Gritty, the Eagles' Swoop and the Steelers' Steely McBeam. Dubbed "East Meets West at the Pennsylvania Farm Show," the sculpture "united [them] at a tailgate celebration through dairy."
To see the full line-up of events for the Farm Show, go to the Department of Agriculture's website.