Growing up in Harford County, Carlson Boquist has attended the Farm Fair throughout his life.
"I've come here at different phases of life, and it's fun in a new way each time, even though it's always the same kind of setup," the 22-year-old Jarrettsville resident said.
His Friday trip to the 26th annual fair was a first for his girlfriend, Caitlyn Hickey, 21, who hails from England.
"I like all the animals," she said. "The baby goats are my favorite."
She was treated to her first pig race Friday.
"They're so cute," Hickey said.
The pig race, in which groups of four piglets race around a small fenced-in course, is a signature event of the Farm Fair.
"You have to go see the pig race, every time," Boquist said.
Boquist and Hickey had their faces painted like cats, and face painting was one of many activities that drew fairgoers from around the region to this week's fair, which ended Sunday, at the Harford County Equestrian Center.
The fair included the usual attractions, such as tractor pulls, the pig races, food, live music and youth exhibitions of farm animals, arts and crafts.
Carnival rides were an additional treat this year.
Len White and his companion, Barbara Lorme, traveled from White Marsh and said they try to come to the fair each year.
Lorme said she enjoyed seeing the exhibitions from youths involved in the 4-H, "just to watch the categories that they enter in, how hard they work, how proud it makes them feel."
4-H, which stands for Head, Heart, Hands and Health, involves millions of youths from around the nation and the world, according to the program's website; children from elementary school age to high school age get involved in a multitude of community and leadership projects.
"I just like to come up and watch everything that's going on," White said of the fair. "There's so much here."
White and Lorme said they enjoyed learning about how the farm animals are raised.
"It's informative," White said.
Another first-timer at the Farm Fair was Ocean City sand sculptor Randy Hofman.
Hofman, whose religious sand sculptures can be seen when entering the Ocean City beach, molded a detailed image of Jesus Christ carrying a cross in a pile of sand for his Farm Fair exhibition.
Hofman said local sand was used for his creation, which took about two days to produce.
"It has a little extra clay in it," he said of the sand.
Members of several local churches facilitated Hofman's trip to Harford County.
Hofman and his local supporters spoke to fairgoers who stopped under the tent to look at his carving; they handed out tracts and spoke to visitors about Christianity.
The words "for our sins" were carved above the image of Jesus, referring to Christ's sacrifice of his life for the world's sins.
"If the craftsmanship doesn't awe them, then the gratitude of what Jesus has done for us brings the appreciation," Hofman said.
Will Chaillou, a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bel Air, led the effort to bring Hofman to the fair.
"We believe Jesus has the answer for society," he said.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun