OSHKOSH – The finest weather in more than six weeks greeted a very large and early arriving crowd for the opening of the 57th annual WPS Farm Show on the morning of Tuesday, March 28 on the grounds of the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Throughout the day, under mostly clear skies, light easterly breezes, and temperatures well into the 50s that even led of having doors of the hangar buildings set open, crowds of active and retired farmers, their spouses, pre-school children, a few students whose day of learning took place at the show, and other people with links to agriculture moved in waves and lines through the four hangars, outdoor tents, and array of outdoor exhibits worth multi millions of dollars.
Those exhibits, by more than 500 vendors from 23 states and three countries, ranged from the latest in very large farm equipment to the smallest of tools. Numerous farm organizations, service providers,financial institutions, suppliers of specialty products, and professional advisers appealed to the throngs of visitors with a combination of videos, large displays, printed materials, snack treats, and their presence at the booths.
One new attraction on this year's menu was pizza, which proved to be very popular. Auxiliary activities included a silent auction to support the FFA program, seminar presentations, a children's pedal tractor pull (on Wednesday), and the presence of FFA chapter members as greeters and information sources at the entrances to the four hangars.
In addition to the agriculture sector representatives with whom they have done or might do business, many of the attendees were impressed by the large number of neighbors, friends, and other acquaintances they met as they strolled in the aisles inside the hangars and tents and along the outdoor paths during the day on Tuesday.
A WPS spokesman did not provide an estimate of the crowd size for Tuesday. For the three-day run of the show, which concluded on Thursday, the WPS anticipates a total turnout of about 20,000.