Today marks the start of the 111th Maryland State Fair, as it kicks off its traditional 10-day run at the fairgrounds in Timonium. You always know the end of summer has arrived when the state fair comes to town.
What a delight it is to re-visit the fair every year. Stopping at the familiar Farm and Garden, 4-H and Home Arts buildings, the Cow Palace, the Horse Show Ring and, of course, the Midway, is a reminder of youthful days gone by and of the agricultural heritage that still remains an important part of modern-day Maryland.
Smell the corn dogs, the cotton candy, the crab cakes and pit beef, the sweet corn and tomatoes. Hear the excitement and screams of those brave enough to step aboard the gravity-defying Midway rides. Tour the livestock barns and watch the 4-H shows. And then, wander over to the race track for some of the best close-up viewing of thoroughbred horses in action along the Mid-Atlantic coast.
Yes, Timonium has its problems. Parking is at a premium. The fairgrounds is so compact it seems to be bursting at the seams. Yet that makes it easy to get to all the events. And why not avoid the parking crunch by hopping on this region's latest transportation wonder, the Central Light Rail Line, which brings you right to the fairgrounds?
What a great way to spend a day, or an evening. The price is certainly cheap enough -- still only $3 for adults, with free admission for kids under age 12. You can start your activities at 8 a.m. for horse and livestock shows, -- over to the demonstration halls at 10 a.m., hit the Midway about noon, and take in the races before returning to the fairgrounds for the night's free entertainment.
This is a wonderful opportunity to treat the family to a pre-back-to-school outing. There's something at Timonium for just about everyone. Don't miss the 111th state fair. It won't be back again this way for 12 long months.