Despite temperatures in the upper 90s during the second weekend, and high temperatures and scattered storms on the closing weekend, more than a half million people attended the 2023 Maryland State Fair.
The fair had a three-weekend run from Aug. 24 to Sept. 10 at the Timonium Fairgrounds. Approximately 518,000 fairgoers were in attendance, according to the Maryland State Fair and Agricultural Society.
The Maryland State Fair and Agricultural Society’s mission is agriculture education. The organization awarded $31,000 in college scholarships this year, according to a news release.
Future Farmers of America, or 4-H/FFA, and Open Class youth and adults presented thousands of farm and garden, livestock, horse, home arts and other exhibits that educated fairgoers about the importance of agriculture.
The 4-H/FFA Youth Livestock Sale raised a record-setting $201,970 from Maryland businesses and individuals. Proceeds from the sale will benefit 68 youth who sold their animals, to invest for next year’s project or future educational endeavors.
“It was encouraging to see that the Society’s mission was met as families and individuals enjoyed the fun and educational displays in the barns, buildings, the U-Learn Agriculture Education Zone, U-Learn Barn, Birthing Center, the Horseland Tent, Nature Play Space and the Fair Museum,” Maryland State Fair General Manager Andrew Cashman said.
The Morning Sun
The First Friday Food Drive presented by Chick-fil-A Baltimore raised six tons of non-perishable food items for the Maryland Food Bank, a half ton increase from last year. The food donations were collected from attendees in exchange for free admission to the fair on the first Friday, the release said.
Other highlights included a host of national acts and more than 25 local bands; a Latino Festival; karaoke; Mallet New Fair Food Competition; the Undeniably Dairy Celebrity Milkshake Contest; the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show; and the JBarW Bull Riding & Cowgirl Barrel Racing Competition.
Two activities offered attendees with differing abilities an opportunity to enjoy the fair. The Champions of Challenge Livestock Show partnered youth with disabilities with experienced exhibitors to meet, greet, groom and exhibit a dairy cow. Sensory-Friendly Morning provided early entrance for individuals with sensory processing disorders.
Mark your calendars for the 2024 Maryland State Fair, scheduled for three weekends: Aug. 22-25; Aug. 29 to Sept. 2; and Sept. 5-8.