From Oct. 19-22, 2013 the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center will host the 90th Annual American Rabbit Breeders Association with 2,600 participants; 22,000 rabbits of every breed; and economic impact of $2.5 million to the HHR.
Harrisburg, PA – For four (4) days this October the Pennsylvania Capital City could be called “Hares-burg” according to tourism officials at the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB), thanks to a national convention the bureau secured for the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center (FSC) taking place October 19-22, 2013.
According to Sharon Altland, Director of Sales for HHRVB, the bureau has been courting American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) for years, and began working with convention organizers in 2011 after the region was officially selected by the ARBA Board of Directors to host the 90th Annual ARBA National Convention & Show.
Tourism officials have estimated the economic impact for the region from this convention will be approximately $2.5 million, considering the show has 2,600 registered participants and vendors. The number of participants has exceeded what event producers originally projected, according to Altland.
Over the course of the event, over 22,000 rabbits and cavies (guinea pigs) will be housed under one roof for the largest competition of its nature in the United States, according to the Mid Atlantic Rabbit & Cavy Shows, Inc. (MARCS) President and General Chairman Brian Bell.
“Breeders from across the country and as far away as eastern Asia will be in attendance competing for the ultimate title of ‘Best in Show,’” according to Bell. “This is a fun and enlightening event for families because it will include rare and unusual rabbits such as the Lionhead, which is a small rabbit with a circular mane of wool around its head similar to a male lion, and other breeds with very distinct traits and characteristics.”
There are currently 47 breeds of rabbits and 13 breeds of cavies recognized by the ARBA and every breed will be on display, according to Bell.
The 2005 ARBA convention held in Indianapolis, Indiana was documented in the highly acclaimed feature-length film Rabbit Fever; and the most recent national convention was held in Wichita, Kansas in 2012. The 2014 show will be held in Fort Worth, Texas.