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[SEPT. 15, 2003]  You don't have to be a farmer to enjoy the Farm Progress Show. All of agriculture's latest high-tech products and services plus the best practices for agriculture are the main attractions at this big event, and people from most walks of life find fun and interesting things to do and see there. Anyone can enjoy the Farm Progress Show experience.

This month's 50th anniversary Farm Progress Show, Sept. 23-25 near Danville, has an expanded lineup of attractions and activities. Here's how to have some fun at the show.

Eat well

It's not haute cuisine, but it sure is good eating. Come hungry enough to try several items from the food tent menu -- including smoked chops, walking tacos, barbecue, desserts and other satisfying finger foods.

Foot-stomping music

Outdoor twilight performances from the Morton stage are scheduled for two evenings of the show. Platinum recording country music star Brad Paisley appears Sept. 23, followed by the rocking country duo Montgomery Gentry on Sept. 24. Concert tickets are available at the event for $12 or in advance for $10 at Big R Stores, the First National Bank of Danville, by calling toll-free (866) 279-7469 or online at www.FarmProgressShow.com.

Farm & Fireside Tent

Ample seating is ready under the Farm & Fireside big-top tent. The Farm & Fireside's daylong programming features clean family comedy, music, cooking, sewing, gardening and square dancing. Humorist Captain Stubby will appear at noon daily. Stubby is the only staff member to participate in all 50 Farm Progress Shows.

Craft exhibits

About 30 artisans and crafters will display their handiwork at the show. Exhibits will feature handmade furniture, stained glass, collectibles, handmade brooms, appliqued clothing and home items, lithographs, candles, floral arrangements, and other crafts.

Horses and cattle

Renowned horse trainer Craig Cameron, our "horse whisperer," educates and entertains equine enthusiasts twice daily. Cameron's programs feature working sessions with locally owned, untrained horses. His audiences learn the basics of overcoming a horse's natural fears and earning the animal's trust. Also, live cattle-handling demonstrations are featured daily in the Farm Progress Show Livestock Tent.


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Celebrating the past

A number of displays and attractions will celebrate agriculture's heritage at this 50th anniversary event, the most notable being the massive antique equipment display along Tenth Street. A number of tractor restoration clubs are participating, and there will even be rare items on display from the Smithsonian Museum collection.

Potpourri of surprises

It's traditional for many of the Farm Progress Show's exhibitors to surprise and delight the crowd. Over the years, visitors have been treated to racing pigs, professional cheerleaders, game shows, celebrity appearances and an array of activities designed to attract attention and provide amusement.

Half Century of Progress

The Half Century of Progress Show is a small-scale reproduction of the first Farm Progress Show, in 1953, with vintage tractors, equipment and other products. This antique event is scheduled for Sept. 20 and 21, the Saturday and Sunday before the Farm Progress Show, and kicks off with a tractorcade of old and new tractors built from 1953 to 2003. The tractorcade starts at the I&I headquarters (the old Penfield Grade School), heads cross-country to the 1953 Farm Progress Show site and then to the 2003 show site near Henning, about eight miles away.

Ticket information

The show sites are located three miles north of Henning, and Henning is approximately 15 miles north of Danville. Half Century of Progress Show admission is $3 for adults, and ages 12 and under are admitted free. Farm Progress Show admission is $7 ($5 in advance) for ages 18 and older, $3 for ages 13-17, and ages 12 and under are admitted free. Parking is free. Evening concert tickets for Montgomery Gentry on Sept. 24 and Brad Paisley on Sept. 23 are $12 or can be purchased in advance for $10.

Advance ticket sales for the Farm Progress Show and concerts are available from Big R Stores, First National Bank of Danville and toll-free via the Farm Progress Show's ticket hot line at (866) 279-7469. The public is welcome.

For additional information visit www.FarmProgressShow.com.

[News release]

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