Harford Farm Fair returns July 31 through Aug. 3

Farm Fair Week is arriving in Harford County.

The 27th Annual Harford County Farm Fair will be held Thursday, July 31, through Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Harford County Equestrian Center on North Tollgate Road in Bel Air.

"The 2014 Farm Fair includes a number of new activities from the rodeo on Sunday afternoon, the bigger and better carnival rides, new bigger and better equine events to supplement the marvelous 4H and FFA displays, shows and livestock auction," said Aimee O'Neill, who is co-chair of the fair along with Skip Pieper.

"The Harford County Farm Fair is an annual opportunity to learn about and visit with our farm families," she said. "We hope to see all of you at the Farm Fair."

Free parking is available throughout the far at the blue lot on the east side of Tollgate Road, across fairgrounds, and on Vale Road, just north of the overpass, with satellite parking at Red Pump Elementary School and Bel Air High School. Free shuttle buses will run between the fair and parking locations beginning at 9 a.m. until one hour after closing.

This year's carnival and midway will be open on all four fair days with the same hours as the fair, O'Neill said. Carnival ride tickets are accepted every day of the fair. A ride-all-day carnival armband will be available on Sunday only.

New to the 2014 Fair is a rodeo on Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. with bull riding, mutton busting for the children and barrel racing events.

Just before the rodeo at 1 p.m. will be an exclusive presentation by the Muddy Creek Horse Vaulters. Fair Sponsors are invited to pay to Name a Bull at the 2014 Fair.

The adventurous - young and old - will enjoy the inflatable bucking bull. You'll be able to test your skills and see if you can make it to 8 seconds on a mechanical bucking bull, O'Neill said, adding: "This really should be a lot of fun."

See the Farm Fair website http://www.farmfair.org for details on these and all other events and attractions.

The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 4 to 11, with children 4 and under admitted free. Tickets for members of the military with ID are $5. Senior Day is Thursday with $5 admission for anyone age 60 and older.

The Fair Board and its committees have been working throughout the year to showcase Harford's agricultural community and provide a fun-filled Fair for all.

The 2014 fair will kick off with the traditional prayer breakfast on Thursday morning at 7:30 followed by 4-H shows and exhibits throughout the day and the antique tractor pull and fireworks in the evening.

The annual Miss Harford County Farm Bureau Contest will be held Thursday at 6 p.m. in the large enclosed pavilion.

The Lucas Oil National Truck & Tractor Pulls are featured on Friday and Saturday evenings with the seasonal culinary competition and ever-popular peach pie contest on Sunday. The fabulous 4-H Livestock Auction is a Saturday evening standard.

An original Farm Fair quilt will be the kick-off item at the 4-H Auction. Designed exclusively for the 2014 Harford County Farm Fair by Jeanne Kehl of GG's Quilting (www.ggsquilting.com), the quilt features the 2014 Fair mascot - a rooster. The proceeds from the quilt auction will benefit the 4-H activities at the Fair.

For a single admission price, fairgoers can enjoy the 4-H and open exhibits; antique and professional circuit truck and tractor pulls; pig races; barnyard; Wildlife Adventures; Kidway; pony rides; draft horse pulls; Parade of Horse Breeds; horse vaulters. Visitors also will be able to enter various contests, such as farm baby costume, watermelon eating, pie eating and literary spelling bee.

On Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health System will hold a "Teddy Bear Clinic" in the Kidway for children to bring their own toy or obtain one from the clinic and learn about "fixing boo-boo's."

Free Bingo games will be held in the Kidway several times throughout the day. Enjoy local entertainment will be performing on the Showmobile or bring your talent to the Annual Farm Fair Talent Contest on Friday and Saturday evenings.

More than 100 business and retail vendors will be on display as well as a broad variety of good food to enjoy at the fair. Prayer Breakfast tickets, discounted carnival ride armbands and fair entry tickets are available at the gate and in advance at the office of O'Neill Enterprises at 103 E Jarrettsville Road in Forest Hill, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Group rates are available.

Volunteers are still needed for Kidway games, ticket booth sales and parking attendants.

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