Monkeys, pigs and ducks: They'll all be flying at fair


Get ready for monkeyshines at the seventh annual Harford County Farm Fair.

Three Japanese snow macaques will act up for the crowd on miniature horses as they race around a track in this new event. The monkeys -- Cow Patty, Bad Bart and Wild Waiamea -- are scheduled to race four times a day during the fair, which is Thursday through Sunday.

But that doesn't mean pigs are passe.

The porkers, a favorite for several years, also will don racing silks for their annual -- for the mash, interchanged with pygmy goats and ducks going for the finish line in other races.

Organizers are expecting more than 80,000 human visitors during the four-day fair, sponsored by the business community, at the fair grounds on Tollgate Road.

"The fair is an economical day out for the family," says Kerry Hochstein, entertainment director of the fair.

The cost, which hasn't changed since the first farm fair in 1988, is $3 for adults, $1 for children 7 to 12, free for children 6 and under. The price includes all exhibits, demonstrations, live entertainment, tractor pulls Friday and Saturday, and a rodeo Saturday. Each child will get a "punch list" that entitles him or her to a free soda, hot dog, pony ride, face painting and more.

"It is meant to be good, wholesome family entertainment," Mr. Hochstein says.

Another new event this year is Puppets by Faith, a 26-member puppet troupe. "They're very professional," Mr. Hochstein says. "They do skits on bike safety, drug awareness, things with good, moral messages."

Live entertainment will take a different approach this year, Mr. Hochstein says. In addition to traditional bluegrass music, visitors will be able to listen to local entertainers perform blues, jazz, rock, Tex-Mex and Big Band. There also will be an Elvis impersonator.

Asked about parking for the expected crowds, Mr. Hochstein said, "We've been getting good at that over the years." Five nearby parking lots will offer free shuttle bus service to the fair, he says.

There are no mechanical rides or midway at the fair.

"We're not interested in being a carnival," Mr. Hochstein says. "We want to be a country fair."


WHEN: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES: Noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: Harford County Equestrian Center Fairgrounds, 700 N. Tollgate Road, Bel Air.

COST: Adults, $3 (four-day pass, $9); children ages 7-12, $1; age 6 and under, free. Senior citizens admitted for $1 Friday.

PARKING: Free shuttle buses from landfill parking (off U.S. 1 South bypass only), Bel Air parking garage, Harford Mall, Tollgate Mall and Bel Air Auto Auction.

EVENTS INCLUDE: Thursday: Hot air balloon race, 6:30 p.m.; antique tractor pull, 7:30 p.m. Friday: Truck and tractor pull, 7:30 p.m. Saturday: Truck and tractor pull, 1 p.m.; kids' pedal pull, 5 p.m.; livestock sale, 5:30 p.m.; horse pull, 7:30 p.m.; line dancing, 8 p.m.; monster truck competition, 9 p.m.; Sunday: tractor follies, 10 a.m.; championship rodeo, 2 p.m.

OTHER ACTIVITIES: Home arts and farm products; 4-H and Future Farmers of America demonstrations and competitions; barnyard; "Kidsway" with pony rides, make-a-button, face painting, ball crawl, moon walks and more; farm queen contest; coon mule jumping; wagon rides; working dog demonstrations (sheep dogs, police dogs, retrievers); terrier races; pig, goat and duck races.

Also, bagpipes; quilting demonstrations; buffalo chip toss; antique farm equipment; wildlife displays; draft horse demonstrations; horse-shoeing demonstrations; clowns; monkey express races; and food concessions.

INFORMATION: (410) 838-8663.

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