Harford bursting with festivals, fairs, in August

Harford County's annual Farm Fair will be far from the only game in town for Harford residents during the moth of August, when multiple festivals are scheduled around the county during the first two weeks of the month.

The 27th Annual Harford County Farm Fair began Thursday and runs through Sunday evening.

People can visit the Harford County Equestrian Center just north of Bel Air and take in a variety of attractions, including carnival rides, midway games, children's activities, live music, a truck and tractor pull and agricultural exhibitions of livestock and produce.

A new attraction this year is the rodeo, scheduled for Sunday; it includes bull riding, mutton, or sheep, busting and barrel racing.

The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today (Friday) and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. More information can be found at http://www.farmfair.org/.

Admission is $8 per ticket for adults and $4 for children ages 4 to 11; children 4 and under can get in for free. Admission for members of the military who have ID is $5.

Peach festival

The St. Mary's Peach Festival is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Abingdon.

Visitors can sample peaches from Susquehanna Orchards, as well as baked goods made with those peaches by members of St. Mary's.

Forty vendors and craft sellers will also be available, as well as food, drinks, tours of St. Mary's Church and children's activities.

The church is at 1 St. Marys Church Road.

Seafood, BBQ festivals

The 34th annual Havre de Grace Seafood Festival and the 13th annual Maryland State BBQ Bash in downtown Bel Air both kick off next Friday, Aug. 8.

Harford residents and visitors can either head to the county seat to take in their fill of barbecued meats and hot sauce, or they can head east to take in a variety of seafood and live music.

"We are the longest and oldest continuously-running seafood festival in the state of Maryland," seafood festival organizer Lori Maslin said Monday.

Maslin said 35,000 to 45,000 people typically attend the three-day seafood festival, which will be held in Millard Tydings Memorial Park.

Visitors can sample food from 32 vendors, view products from 120 arts and craft vendors, enter a charity raffle and silent auction and take in a classic car show.

The festival typically opens with a concert by a national recording act, and this year is no exception, with classic rock band Three Dog Night headlining the Friday show in the swale of the Yacht Basin, Maslin said.

The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. with opening performances from Baltimore School of Rock and Mallary Hope. Three Dog Night will be the main act.

"Three Dog Night has sold extremely well," Maslin said.

She said tickets for the inner circle and reserve areas are sold out, but tickets for the lawn and general admission areas are still available. They can be purchased at http://www.hdgseafoodfestival.org/Index.htm, at the Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce or by calling 410-939-1525.

Admission to the festival is free; it runs from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

'Something for everyone'

More than 25,000 people attended last year's BBQ Bash, according to organizers.

The BBQ Bash, presented by Mars Super Markets and hosted by the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, will be held in the parking lot of Mary E. Risteau State Office Building at the intersection of Bond and Thomas streets in Bel Air.

The bash will run from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, according to a web page for the bash on the Downtown Alliance's website, http://www.downtownbelair.com/bbqbash/.

More than 50 teams are expected to compete for $12,500 in prizes and a slot in the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tenn., and The American Royal in Kansas City, Mo.

"You have people coming from all over the country with professional rigs," Erika Quesenbery, executive director of the Downtown Alliance, said Monday.

Visitors can also stop by various food vendors and booths for downtown Bel Air businesses and attractions, children can play in the Little Piggies Fun Zone and visitors can take in live music from the Main Stage, sponsored by WXCY 103.7 FM.

"It really has something for everyone. but especially those ones who are backyard barbecue aficionados at their own deck parties and their own pool parties," Quesenbery said.

Other festivals to visit

The 25th annual Fiore Winery Wine, Jazz & Art Festival is Saturday, Aug. 16, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Fiore Winery and Distillery, at 3026 Whiteford Road in Pylesville. Admission is $15 if tickets are purchased before Aug. 11, and it is $17 at the gate, according to an announcement from the winery.

Visitors can enjoy wine, jazz, artists and craft makers, foods and tours of the winery and vineyards.

The annual Havre de Grace Art Show takes place from Friday, Aug. 15 to Sunday, Aug. 17 in Tydings Park.

Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The show is organized by Soroptimist International of Havre de Grace. In addition to the art and craft displays, a wine-tasting and beer garden will be available, as well as live entertainment, food and children's activities, according to the website, http://www.hdgartshow.org/.

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