HARRISBURG, Pa. — While visitors check out cattle and drink milk shakes, the security crew at the Pennsylvania Farm Show is working hard. To maintain security for the more than 500,000 annual visitors, about 150 Farm Show workers guide the visitors, patrol the Farm Show complex and even watch outside cameras to regulate traffic.
"We really keep an eye on those cameras, watch traffic, see if it's starting to back up," said Sharon Myers, executive direction of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. " The last thing we want is for it to start backing up on 81. That causes an unsafe situation."
The planning for each year's show starts as soon as the previous one has ended, installing new security measures and practicing emergency procedures such as fire and evacuation drills.
The most common security issue, officials said, is lost children. The Farm Show employs several measures to locate lost parents. For example, purple wristbands provided by Bessie's Best are available at the entrances. Parents can write contact information on the wristband so they can be reached if they become separated from a child.
There are also reunification centers positioned around the Farm Show complex.
Because of this preparation, most lost children are quickly reunited with their parents, show organizers said.
"I would say 90 percent of all our kids we find in less than 10 minutes," Myers said.
Pennsylvania State Troopers are also stationed in every area of the Farm Show complex. If you see something suspicious, officials said, you should tell the nearest State Trooper.